Savannas are geographically located in Australia, Africa, and South America. There is no summer or winter here, but there are 2 seasons – the dry and rainy seasons. These climatic conditions fully determine the animal world that inhabits the savanna. However, these animals have undergone particular adaptations throughout evolution to survive in these conditions.
They have adapted techniques such as storing water, using the night for hunting, and some customs to avoid the incoming solar radiation and possible damage. Below is the list of 15 animals that inhabit the savanna’s land.
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|Scientific Name||Tragelaphus strepsiceros|
|Size||2 m long – 200-300 kg weight|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern|
Kudu is another notable large and horned antelope species that shows excellent sexual dimorphism in males. Kudus inhabit the African wooded savannas and comprise five species. They measure more than two meters and weigh about 300 kilos, they have a transparent mane on the spine, and the fur is light brown, with white lines on the back.
Kudu is equipped with sharp horns. They are a weapon for battle protection. Therefore, during the mating season, males turn their heads away from females, sideways to them. So male individuals demonstrate a peaceful, romantic mood. These animals are nocturnal, feed on branches and leaves, and, although their pace is slow, they can jump up to two meters high.
|Habitat||Lagoons, Savanna all over the globe|
|Size||90 – 150 cm height – Weight 2 – 4 kg|
|Conservation Status||Not Extinct|
The flamingo is regarded as one of the most beautiful yet peculiar birds globally. It comfortably exceeds one meter in height. It is worth mentioning the size of its long legs and neck, with 19 cervical vertebrae, and its pink tones. The pink color of their feathers is due to microcrustaceans that color the flamingos’ feathers. Newborn flamingos are white or greyish.
Pink plumage is saturated by the age of 3 years. It is the level of puberty. As for feeding, the bird lowers its head under the water and searches for prey on the swampy bottom with its beak. The bird’s tongue is like a piston that filters water through the rows of horny plates located along the edges of the beak. Small crustaceans, worms that remain in the mouth, the bird swallows.
Another characteristic of the flamingo is its ability to sleep on one leg. It doesn’t need other body parts to maintain its balance. To lay their eggs, flamingos build nests of mud, which does not quite fit with the aristocratic appearance of birds.
|Size||53-58 cm height – Weight 1.3 kg|
|Conservation Status||Not Extinct|
The Guinea fowl is a bird with a magnificent plumage. In the wild, guinea fowl live in flocks, in which there are up to 30 individuals. They chose semi-deserts savannas as their natural habitat. In length, the birds reach 53-58 cm. The head is small; the body is rounded. The weight is 1.3 kg. The tail and wings are short; the beak is hooked and laterally compressed.
These birds mostly move on the ground and fly reluctantly, as they get tired quickly. There are no feathers on the head but growths and a reddish fleshy horn on the crown. The plumage on the body is gray-black and sprinkled with white spots.
In search of food, they are tireless and can walk up to 10 km a day. The diet consists of seeds, fruits, greens, snails, spiders, worms, frogs, lizards, small snakes, and small mammals. Representatives of the species have strong claws, and they easily tear the soil in search of food. They spend the night on the branches of trees.
|Scientific Name||Erethizon dorsatum|
|Habitat||Tropical forests, deserts, and steppes to savannas|
|Size||70-90 cm height- Weight 5-16 kg|
|Diet||Mainly herbivores but sometimes eat insects|
|Conservation Status||the least concern to vulnerable|
The porcupine is a unique animal that has long inspired and frightened our ancestors. So, the ancient Romans sincerely believed that mammals use needles on their backs as poisonous arrows to throw at ill-wishers. However, this animal is quite cute and harmless.
On average, the body length of a mammal is up to 90 cm. The weight of individuals varies significantly from a minimum of 2-3 kilograms to 17. The skin color of the porcupine is brown, and the needles are primarily black and white with stripes. They are located on the animal’s sides, back, and tail.
The porcupine is a nocturnal animal that, at dusk, earns its food and hides in shelters during the day. During the night, it can cover kilometers, searching for small insects, sweet roots, and leaves. But in winter, the porcupine becomes lazy and apathetic and saves energy, so it spends most of its time in a well-equipped nest. These animals live in various climatic zones, from tropical forests, deserts, and steppes to savannas.
5. Red-billed buffalo weaver
|Scientific Name||Bubalornis niger|
|Habitat||Dry savanna of southern African countries|
|Size||21-25 cm long – Weight 60-80 gm|
|Conservation Status||Least concern|
The red-billed buffalo is a species of bird that lives in the dry savanna and sparse forest habitats of southern African countries. These birds inhabit open landscapes – savannas, woodlands, and less often semi-deserts or the outskirts of forests, but they never occur in the thick of forests and deserts.
It is because of the peculiarities of the biology of birds: they nest only in trees, and they look for food only in open spaces. The bird is one of the largest among weaver birds, with a length of about 21 to 25 cm and a weight of about 60 to 80 g. Both males and females have chocolate brown colored feathers, but males have white patches on their wings which are lacking in females.
Birds feed on insects and plant parts. The birds are well known for the elaborate nests they wove. Red-billed weavers’ nesting colonies number up to 400 birds, and the entire flock, after breeding, can reach up to a billion. Perhaps it is the most numerous bird flock in the world.
Weavers fly quickly in the air, often flapping their wings and making sharp turns. When such a flock rises into the sky, it covers the sun, and the noise of the wings spreads across the savanna with a deaf, ominous rumble.
6. Baboon spider
|Scientific Name||Pelinobius muticus|
|Size||50-60 mm with leg size of 130-150 mm|
|Conservation Status||Least concern|
The baboon spider, also known as the African tarantula, is a relatively widespread representative of the tarantula subfamily in tropical climatic conditions. Baboon spiders live in tropical rainforests or wooded savannas. It is an arboreal species of arachnids that settles in hollows of trees, on bushes, and palm trees, sometimes close to the earth’s surface.
The baboon spider got its name because of the similarity of the tips of the spider legs with the fingers of a baboon monkey. The baboon spider has a large size – 50-60 mm, with the limbs -130-150 mm. The spider’s body is densely hairy, and the hairs cover the abdomen and the limbs.
The color of the chitinous cover is varied and differs in gray, brown, gray, and black. A motley pattern is visible on the upper body of the female baboon spider: small black spots, dots, and stripes are visible on a grayish-white background.
The coloration of the predator is adaptive. It serves as an excellent camouflage against the gray-brown tree bark in the African savanna, camouflaging from birds. Young spiders and adult males are covered with a uniform greenish-brown chitinous cover.
|Habitat||Savanna of southern Africa|
|Size||90-100 cm long – Weight around 2kg|
|Conservation Status||Not extinct|
Hornbills are very easily recognizable birds; their size varies between 90 centimeters and 120 centimeters for the largest species. They have white and black plumage and a long yellow beak, measure around 55 cm, and weigh about 2 kg. The animal’s main characteristic making it famous is its long curved beak.
Hornbills live in the arid savanna of southern Africa. Although these birds tend to live and hunt alone, they have only one partner throughout their lives and are staunch monogamists.
They feed on insects, fruits, and seeds and eat lizards, small mammals, and sometimes even small snakes. They got their name because of the enormous beaks on which hollow outgrowths also appear.
|Size||More than 2 m in height – weight around 80 kg or more|
|Conservation Status||Not extinct|
Kangaroos are large and strong animals, exceeding two meters when erect and exceeding 80 kg. Kangaroos have big feet and strong hind legs, which allow these animals to move around by jumping and at great speed. They also have a long and robust tail that balances and helps with locomotion.
There are dozens of kangaroos in the Australian savanna; one of the largest is red, with males reaching 1.8 m in height. The diet and lifestyle of red kangaroos resemble African antelopes. They gather in large herds and roam the savanna, searching for rich pastures.
During rest, kangaroos sit on their hind legs, leaning on their tail. After birth, a tiny, blind, and naked cub immediately move to the pouch, where it sticks to the mother’s nipple and continues its development there. Over time, the kangaroo makes short trips out of the mother’s bag, returning there in case of danger.
|Scientific Name||Panthera leo|
|Size||1.2 m height – Weight 190 kg|
Lions live in the African savanna, where they are at the top of the food chain. Lions often rest takes up to 20 hours a day. The rest of the time is spent hunting. Male lions are larger than lionesses and are distinguished by a luxurious golden mane. The favorite food of lions is zebras and antelopes; a pack of lions may well drive a buffalo.
When the pride is on the hunt, the cubs stay with one or two lionesses. Only females hunt; some chase prey, and others wait in ambush. Males only enjoy the fruits of the labors of lionesses. Lions are the only cats that live in groups. They pride themselves on family units, including up to three male individuals, a dozen females, and their young.
All lionesses, and cubs, usually females, stay with the pack as they age. Young males eventually leave and establish their group, which another male may even lead. Males defend the group’s territory, including about 259 square kilometers of grassland, scrubland, or open forest. These animals use urine to intimidate and mark the area that belongs to them and the menacing roar to warn intruders and scare away animals that invade their territories.
10. Black Mamba
|Scientific Name||Dendroaspis polylepis|
|Size||2-2.5 m long – Weight about 1.6 kg|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern|
It is regarded as the most venomous snake in the world; the bite of a black mamba or, as the common people say, the “kiss of death” is dangerous for humans and animals. The black mamba produces a dose of poison that can kill 15 adult men with one bite. The lethal dose for humans is only 10-15 mg, but the mamba can inject up to 400 mg in one bite.
The exciting thing is the snake is not black at all: as a rule, the upper part of its body has a dark olive, olive green, or grayish-brown color, and the belly is light brown or off-white. Mamba owes its name to the black mouth, which it demonstrates to intimidate the enemy.
This snake is native to the African continent. Its habitat includes countries where we find Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, and Kenya. It usually lives in different ecosystems because it has a remarkable ability to adapt. However, the preferred ecosystems have a dry environment with little moisture. Thus, we find it in larger populations in both deserts and savannas.
|Scientific Name||Mandrillus sphinx|
|Habitat||Southwest of Cameroon and the Congo, in the western part of Gabon, and the territory of Equatorial Guinea|
|Size||Height 55-60 cm – Weight 19-37 kg|
|Population||Less than 4000|
Mandrills are one of the largest primates in the world. Only gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans surpass them in size. However, what sets mandrills apart from other primates is their original muzzle coloration, which looks like it has been intentionally colored.
A standing mandrill can be compared with a large child in height: male height 55-60 cm, weight 19-37 kg, female height 40-50 cm, weight 12-15 kg. When the mandrill rests on the ground with all four limbs, it looks like a large dog. The mandrill looks unusual; its appearance seems to combine the features of a baboon, a dog, and a boar.
The head of this animal is quite large, with an elongated straight muzzle. This muzzle resembles that of a dog, but the mandrill’s nose, with powerfully flared nostrils, gives it a resemblance to the snout of a pig. Mandrills live in family groups of 15 to 30 animals. These monkeys are passive, but the territory of each family is very extensive.
During daylight hours, mandrills bypass the territory and arrange to lodge for the night on trees. The most extreme patriarchy reigns in the family group. The head of the family, a prominent male leader, leads the whole herd and monitors its relationship. His authority is indisputable: both females and young animals and males of a lower rank obey him.
Mandrills are omnivores; they can eat plants and bird eggs and catch small animals (insects, rodents). But compared to other baboons, they are not as active predators and never prey on large animals. Mandrills are found in the southwest of Cameroon and the Congo, in the western part of Gabon, and in the territory of Equatorial Guinea. They prefer dense thickets; they can also be found in savannas.
12. Sulcata Tortoise
|Scientific Name||Centrochelys sulcata|
|Size||76 cm long – Weight 36-50 kg|
Sulcata tortoise/African spurred tortoise is the largest continental tortoise and the third-largest in the world. The shell can be 76 cm long (the maximum recorded shell length is 83 cm). Both females and males have 2-3 large spurs on their hips, for which this turtle has another name of its own – spur-bearing. The outgrowths are needed to dig holes and holes for eggs.
Sometimes there are turtles with tuberous shells. It is not the norm and occurs due to an excess of phosphorus, lack of calcium, and moisture. The skin of spurred turtles is very thick with large hard shields, allowing them to carry dry, hot air. Turtles are very strong and can bend aluminum and steel when closing into a shell.
The range of the spur-bearing tortoise covers central Africa from Senegal to Ethiopia; it inhabits mainly savannas and deserts. Spur-bearing turtles are herbivorous but occasionally eat protein foods of animal origin. These turtles can go without water for a long time but willingly drink it when they have the opportunity.
13. Blue Wildebeest
|Scientific Name||Connochaetes taurinus|
|Habitat||East and South Africa|
|Size||Height 4.5 ft – Weight 165-270 kg|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern|
The blue wildebeest is one of the few antelopes that have survived in large numbers in Africa to this day, and not only in the protected areas of national parks and reserves. The blue wildebeest inhabits East and South Africa, rarely going north beyond the latitude of Lake Victoria. Wildebeest’s favorite habitats are typical savannas and vast low-grass plains, sometimes flat, sometimes slightly hilly.
However, it is not uncommon to meet wildebeest among thickets of thorny bushes and dry, sparse forests. The blue wildebeest is a rather large animal; the height of adult males reaches 4.5ft at height and weighs 165-270 kg. The general tone of the color of the short, smooth coat is bluish-gray, dark transverse stripes run along the sides of the animal, and the mane and tail are blackish.
Despite their large size, wildebeests are very picky in food and feed exclusively on certain types of herbaceous plants. For this reason, animals are forced to constantly migrate from place to place, leaving arid areas and going to those places where the rains have passed, and the vegetation has resumed.
14. Hyacinth Macaw
|Scientific Name||Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus|
|Size||1m in length – Weight 1.5-2 kg|
The Hyacinth Macaw is the most beautiful parrot on the planet. The first to describe this species of bird was John Latham in 1790. In length, hyacinth macaws can reach a meter (but this is with the tail). The wingspan often exceeds 70 cm, and the parrot can weigh 1.5-2 kg.
The cobalt-blue plumage of the entire body in hyacinth macaws is slightly shaded by a bright yellow periorbital ring and the same color with a wide stripe at the base of the beak. There are gray inserts on the feathers and tail. The eyes are dark brown; the paws are grayish-black with large claws.
A distinctive feature of all parrots of the macaw genus is a large, laterally compressed, and strongly rounded beak, the tip of which is steeply bent downwards. The color of the beak is dark gray, almost black. These parrots mainly inhabit the savanna grasslands, palm swamps, and woodlands of Brazil.
The hyacinth macaw plays an essential role in its habitat, spreading the seeds and nuts that make up its diet and allowing them to germinate and plants to spread throughout the territory where the parrots live, thus forming the basis of the entire food chain. These parrots are the victims of the pet trade, and they are also killed for their feathers. It is difficult to see them in the wild now as their population is decreasing.
15. Giant Pangolin
|Scientific Name||Smutsia gigantea|
|Size||140 cm in length – Weight 33 kg|
The giant pangolin is the largest one in the pangolin family, also called the scaly anteater. The animal was first described by the zoologist Karl Illiger in 1815. It lives in Africa and inhabits exclusively savannas and tropical forests, where there are sandy soils and constant access to a water source.
The giant pangolin feeds exclusively on ants and termites, found in abundance in its habitats. The length of its body, taking into account the tail, reaches 140 cm, and the weight of the largest specimen known to science is 33 kg. The animal has a small elongated head and a thick tail is approximately equal to the length of the body.
The giant pangolin is nocturnal, so little is known about its habits and reproduction. Individuals usually live alone in burrows.
Savanna ecoregion consists vast diversity of flora and fauna, but humans have significantly harmed it in many ways. Residents use the land for grazing. As a result, the grass dies, and the savanna turns into a barren desert area. Some also engage in poaching, which leads to the extinction of many species. However, residents now realize the importance of this ecoregion. Many areas are now under protection where these fantastic creatures are now flourishing.