Physical features of the savanna: Science for Kids: Savanna Grasslands Biome

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13.3: Savanna Biome — Geosciences LibreTexts

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    • Michael E. Ritter
    • University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point via The Physical Environment

    The Savanna biome is characterized by an extensive cover of grasses with scattered trees. It is a transitional biome between those dominated by forests and those dominated by grasses. The Savanna biome is associated with climates having seasonal precipitation accompanied with a seasonal drought. A midlatitude variant, the parkland, is located in the drier portions of the humid continental climate.

    Tropical Savanna

    The tropical savanna is generally found in regions dominated by the Wet-Dry Tropical climate. An extensive cover of tall grasses, sometimes reaching a height of 3 meters, is found in the tropical savanna. Most savanna grass is coarse and grows in tufts with intervening patches of bare ground. Scattered, individual trees or small groves of trees are common. The umbrella shaped Acacia tree is a notable species of the Savanna biome. The acacia tree uses its long tap roots draw water from deep below the surface during the dry season of the savanna. The tree’s long thorns are home to small stinging ants, both of which ward off herbivorous animals. Only the giraffe can tolerate the acacia foliage. The tree’s small leaves reduce water loss. Its umbrella shape maximizes the exposure of the small leaves to solar radiation.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Acacia Tree (Courtesy USFWS)

    The small amount of high sun rainfall in the savanna is not enough to sustain trees in the savanna biome. Other regional factors play an important role in maintaining the savanna. In eastern Africa where precipitation is higher, savanna vegetation is maintained by periodic fires. Fires burn back the forest and stimulates the growth of grasses like that which occurs in the prairie grasslands. Savannas, like those found in Venezuela and Brazil, develop on soils that have a hard crust and are subject to cracking. Trees flourish where their roots can follow the cracks down to water held deep beneath the surface. Grasses grow in the crust above.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): The Baobab tree found in the Savanna of Senegal. (Source: UN/DPI Photo #187250C by Evan Schneider)

    Plants in the savanna have adapted to the long dry season in a number of ways. The Baobab tree stores water in its huge trunk, drawing on the moisture during periods of drought stress. Many grasses and trees of the savanna flourish during the brief wet season and then go into a state of dormancy. Grasses turn brown and trees lose their leaves to reduce the loss of water by transpiration.

    A number of different animal species inhabit the tropical savanna like lions, zebras, elephants and giraffes. The long neck of the giraffe is a unique adaptation to the savanna woodlands; its long neck permits browsing on the higher foliage of trees.

    Thorntree and Tropical Scrub

    The Thorntree and Tropical Scrub is characterized by short, thorny trees and shrubs. The vegetation may form a continuous cover eliminating grasses. This vegetation formation is a response to a longer, and more intense drought period.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\): Livestock grazing severely damages the thorntree savanna leading to problems of desertification. Burkina Faso* (Picture credit: Carolyn Redenius, United Nations)

    The thorntree and tropical scrub has suffered under the misuse of human activity. Overgrazing has reduced the capacity of the system to withstand the erosive forces of wind, and to a lesser extent water. Without the protective restraint plants, soil and sand, along with valuable soil nutrients, can blow free from the surface. Deserts are rapidly encroaching and replacing the savannas and steppe grasslands. Many years of prolonged drought combined with human pressures on the biome increases the likelihood for desertification of these areas.

    Midlatitude Savanna

    Figure \(\PageIndex{4}\): Bald Top Oak Savanna, Oregon. (Photo Credit: US FWS Source)

    A Midlatitude savanna is sometimes called a parkland. Here, grasses are broken by patches or ribbons of broadleaf trees. The midlatitude savanna is located in a transitional area between the humid continental and midlatitude steppe climates. Parkland often is a step in the successional evolution of plant communities on abandoned farm fields of the eastern United States. For more see «Prairie Parkland (Temperate) Province «.

    Human activities and the Savanna Biome

    Many animals of the savanna biome like the rhinoceros are endangered and threatened with extinction due to hunting and habitat loss. Most species of elephants are in danger of extinction due to poaching for their ivory tusks. Several means to protect these animals have been tried, even removal of the rhinoceros’s horns and the elephant’s tusks. Many countries have banned the sale of ivory to discourage poaching under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in 1989. The stronger enforcement against poaching nearly brought it to a halt.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{5}\): Square lipped rhinoceros, Zambia. (Source: M.Boulton, FAO. Used with permission)

    The success of the ban encouraged some countries to negotiate its lifting to sell stockpiled ivory from seizures. A significant increase in elephant poaching has resulted from a substantial rise in the value of ivory. A 2008 research report indicated that African elephant death rate from poaching was at 8 per cent, higher than the 7.4 per cent rate that led to the international ban on ivory trade. African elephant population was estimated at 1 million, with about 70,000 elephants killed each year. In 2008, the population was less than 470,000. At this rate, it is estimated that African elephants could be extinct by 2020. A significant demand in rhino horn as sparked and increase in rhino poaching. In this NPR All Things Considered story from May 13, 2013, Frank Langfett describes how «Vietnam’s Appetite for Rhino Horn Drives Poaching in Aftica». The NPR Morning Edition segment «Radiocarbon Clues Help Track Down Poached Elephant Ivory» from July 2, 2013 looks out how conservation scientists use high tech means to uncover the source of poached ivory.

    Video: Biomes: Savanna (Courtesy Great Pacific Media)

    This page titled 13.3: Savanna Biome is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Michael E. Ritter (The Physical Environment) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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    Savanna Ecosystem: Characteristics, Animals & Plants

    Savanna Ecosystem

    Savanna is an ecosystem with a huge grassland area spread in acres. It is mostly known as a dry region, but it is wet at the same time. Well, the savanna is a natural landform with grasses all around providing a perfect environment, especially for grazing animals.

    Savanna Grassland Definition and characteristics

    Each ecosystem, whether it is rainforest or savanna, has its importance in maintaining proper balance in the environment. Many people love to watch wildlife on the discovery channel; Jungle safari at Savanna grassland is an ideal amusement for them to experience wildlife personally.

    Table of Contents

    • 1 Savanna Grassland Definition
    • 2 Savanna Ecosystem Characteristics
      • 2.1 Savanna Grassland Animals
      • 2.2 Savanna Grassland Plants

    Savanna Grassland Definition

    A terrestrial habitat where plants and animals are living together in an open area covered with grasses and some scattered bushes & trees is known as Savanna grassland ecosystem.

    It can also be defined as a “woodland-grassland ecosystem” where trees and grasses are scattered usually in tropical or subtropical regions and have seasonal rainfall.

    Savanna grasslands are located within 30 degrees of Earth’s equator usually found between tropical rainforest & deserts.

    There are many different types of Savanna ecosystems found on the Earth, depending on different locations such as Serengeti Plains of Tanzania, Savanna of Venezuela, the vast Acacia Plains of East Africa, the Australian Savanna, etc.

    Savanna Ecosystem Characteristics

    characteristics of savanna biome and ecosystem

    • Savanna Grassland Location

    Grasses cover savanna, hence called as grassland. However, you can see a few numbers of trees scattered here and there in the grassland area.

    Savanna grassland is a vast area spread almost half the area of Africa. Apart from Africa, Savanna is also covered in some parts of Australia, South America, and India.

    • Climate at Savanna

    Climate is an essential characteristic of any ecosystem. The climate of the Savanna ecosystem is quite warm, and the temperature ranges between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Savanna receives moderate rainfall up to 10 to 30 inches annually; This is why savanna experience dry season almost all year round. Savanna experience wet summer season (6 to 8 months) and dry winter season (4 to 6 months).

    The plants & trees at Savanna ecosystem mostly lose their leaves or sometimes die due to adverse climatic conditions during the dry season.

    • Savanna grassland Soil & Nutrients 

    The soil form at Savanna ecosystem is very poor in terms of fertility. As the nutrients found in the soil are very less, hence it is poor in quality. However, some amounts of nutrients are found in the soil surface due to the decaying of organic matter.

    Poor quality soil is one of the major reasons for restricted vegetation in the Savanna ecosystem.  

    The soil found in the Savanna ecosystem appears red due to the high amount of iron present in it.

    • Fires in Savanna ecosystem

    Fire in Savanna grassland is quite often to happen. In dry season burning of the grasslands at Savanna ecosystem is common to see.

    When lightning strikes, the grassland in savanna catches fire, especially in the dry season. The fire burns the old dry grass in savanna that allows fresh grass to grow on the land. 

    Many plants can survive in case of fire because of their strong root system, which helps them to regrow faster after the fire.

    Some trees with thick bark also win to survive in the adverse conditions during grassland fire. 

    As far as the animals are concerned, most of the animals escape from the place of fire. Some other animals burrow deep inside the ground to get protection against fire. Unfortunately, the insects mostly die in considerable numbers in grassland ignition.

    • Flora and Fauna at Savanna Ecosystem

    Savanna is very poor in terms of vegetation with fewer trees, bushes, and huge grasslands. Less rainfall & dry climate is the primary reason for poor flora at Savanna ecosystem.

    On the other hand, the savanna is quite rich in terms of the fauna of this region. It is a home for a wide variety of animal species starting from carnivorous, herbivorous, omnivorous, to scavengers, etc.

    Savanna Grassland Animals

    Savanna ecosystem provides shelter to various species of animals, including mammals, grazing animals, insects, etc. The large size mammals living in the Savanna ecosystem mostly include zebras, buffalo, leopard, elephants, cheetah, giraffes, rhinoceroses, lions, etc.

    Animals of savanna ecosystem

    Other species of animals found in the Savanna ecosystem includes crocodile, meerkats, termites, ostriches, baboons, snakes, antelopes, ants, kangaroos, Aardwolf, African Wild Dog, Black Mamba, Blesbok, Bontebok, Nigriceps Ants, Nile Crocodile, etc.

    Savanna ecosystem is also crowded with grazing herbivores that usually lives in a herd. These herbivores rely on their speed to survive against predators; Slow ones unfortunately becomes prey to the predators.

    Camouflage is an important characteristic of the predator of the Savanna ecosystem. They camouflaged with the environment to get an easy chance for hunt. The camouflage technique is not only used by the predator for hunting but sometimes also used by prey to hide from predators.

    Savanna Grassland Plants

    As the name suggests, the savanna is known as grassland due to the insufficient number of trees. The adverse climate of the Savanna ecosystem does not allow flourishing ample vegetation.  

    The vegetation, including mostly grasses and dispersed trees, has adapted the climatic conditions of the Savanna ecosystem. Only those plant species can survive in the Savanna ecosystem that can resist in hot weather and little water.  

    Grass at Savanna ecosystem tends to grow rapidly in wet months, whereas in the dry season, the grasses become brown. The grass is comparatively shorter in size due to frequent fire.  

    Some plants and trees have developed long roots to reach water level underground to survive in dry weather of the Savanna ecosystem.

    Some of the common plant species found in the Savanna ecosystem include Baobab, Candelabra Tree, Gum Tree Eucalyptus, Manketti Tree, Umbrella Thorn Acacia, Acacia Senegal, Bermuda Grass, Elephant Grass, Jackalberry Tree, River Bushwillow, Whistling Thorn, etc.

    Savanna is an important ecosystem on Earth. We need to conserve this unique ecosystem for our future generation but, most importantly, for the flora & fauna of this region. Savanna grasslands provide habitat to hundreds of migratory bird species and endangered animal species.

    The Savanna ecosystem is also a victim of climate change & global warming. As a result, some of the plant and animal species of Savanna grasslands have been extinct or becoming endangered. We need to take initiatives to protect the Savanna ecosystem from saving the plant and animal species that depend on this ecosystem for habitat.

    construction, repair, real estate, landscaping

    Savannas are vast grassy and forest-park-grassy plains, often at low geomorphological levels (from +10 to +200 m above sea level), located in the subtropical and tropical latitudes of Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, Australia.
    Savannas (an Indian name for grassy vegetation and pastures in South America) can be considered as a tropical analogue of the Russian steppes, North American prairies and forest-steppes of the temperate and moderately cold zones. Natural, primary savannahs are characterized by a relatively dry climate with a long rainless period. Secondary, anthropogenic (post-forest) savannas are located in a humid tropical climate, in place of wet and even rain forests destroyed by man. Both those and others are burned annually by nomads, hunters, shepherds, and farmers. Burning is a constant condition for the existence and formation of vegetation and soils of savannahs. In most cases, natural savannahs are located on ancient or modern water-accumulating plains, which are still sometimes flooded with hollow waters.
    Primary savannah soils are typical of tropical soddy soil formation. Where the sod process is combined with recent or recent geochemical accumulation (groundwater, floods), savannah soils are characterized by a high level of fertility, a dark-colored humus structural profile reminiscent of a chernozem profile, a neutral or slightly alkaline reaction, carbonate content, and sometimes a small residual salinity and alkalinity. Usually, they are also characterized by a high absorption capacity (30–40–60 meq) and a predominance of the montmorillonite group of secondary minerals.
    The general characteristics of these soils, often also called grumosols (the term was introduced by D. Thorp) or tropical chernozems, are given in Table. 102.

    Both the chernozems and meadow soils of the temperate zone and the black soils of the savannas are very diverse in terms of physical and chemical properties and productivity. Along with the structural varieties of black humus (soddy) soils, there are dense merged structureless varieties. In Russia, the latter are known as merged chernozems (Caucasus, Moldavia), abroad such soils are called verti-salts (from the Latin verti — I turn over).
    The history of savanna soils is very complex and controversial. Both soil scientists and botanists are still very far from unity or even from partial agreement of scientific views on savannahs. It is indisputable that many of the soils of the primary savannahs passed through the stages of underwater and then capillary-hydromorphic soil formation, the time of which goes back 5-6 thousand years into the depths of history. Now these are paleohydromorphic soils (neoeluvial regime), in which the features of the past are very pronounced (laterite and calcareous hardpen, various nodules). The post-forest secondary savannas of Brazil and Australia, developed on the ancient residual allitic and ferrallitic weathering crust, are apparently paleoautomorphic soils. The beginning and culmination of their formation date back to the Tertiary period, and possibly even earlier (for example, the soils of Northern Australia near the city of Darwin).
    A special monograph by R. Dudal is devoted to the genesis of dark humus soils in the tropics and subtropics. The herbaceous vegetation of typical primary savannahs, as Dudal has shown, is most closely associated with the dark and black soils of the low plains of the subtropics and tropics. According to Dudal, the most fertile dark soils of the subtropics and tropics are formed when the soddy process is combined with geochemical and mechanical accumulation, i.e., under conditions of difficult natural drainage of accumulative landscapes on the great ancient or modern delta-alluvial plains. Another condition for the formation of dark tropical savanna soils is a relatively dry climate, which limits the possibility of forest development. At average annual temperatures of about 24-27°C, the amount of atmospheric precipitation is 500-1000 mm, and the rainless period lasts up to 4-8 months a year.
    Tall and powerfully developed herbaceous vegetation of savannahs is almost always combined with shrubs and single trees. However, both in terms of biomass and soil-forming effect, herbaceous vegetation dominates. The vegetation of the savannas is mainly represented by cereals and legumes. But there are also many specific species of woody grasses (Clitoria, Eriosema, Galactia). Among the species that make up the herbaceous vegetation of the savannas, for the countries of South America, Trachypogon, Panicum maximum should be indicated.
    In the African savanna, with precipitation of more than 1500 mm per year, the main role in vegetation is played by high and powerfully developed Imperata sylindrica, Pennisetum purpureum, Andropogon, Hypharrhensia. With smaller amounts of moisture (100 mm or less, dry period up to 6 months), a dense bushy savanna (bunch grass savanna) is formed with a plant height of 1–2 m and almost without trees. The terrestrial phytomass of elephant grass with litter reaches a huge value — 40-50 t/ha (without roots). At the same time, at least 300 kg of N, 25 kg of P, 50 kg of S, 50 kg of Ca, 100 kg of Mg, and 360 kg of K are annually involved in the circulation per 1 ha. Imperata sulindrica forms a phytomass ten times smaller. At the same time, the roots are twice as high as the terrestrial phytomass (terrestrial about 4 g/ha, roots about 10 t/ha).
    Under semiarid and sub-humid savanna conditions, herbaceous vegetation is represented, according to Dudal, by Schoenfeldia gracilis, Ctenium elegans, Vetiveria fulvibarlis, Brachiaria falcifera, Cymbopogon nervatis, Hilaria mutica, Aristida, Andropogon, Themeda, Schizachyrium, etc.
    Savannah vegetation enriches soils with alkaline earths and especially potassium and also silica. This determines the relatively low responsiveness of savannah soils to calcium and potassium fertilizers and high responsiveness to nitrogen.
    Black and dark soils of warm, subtropical and tropical zones are widely known on different land continents; they are called differently; black cotton soils (South Africa);
    Dark clay soils of savannahs have a typical profile of soddy soils: humus horizon A up to 60–90 cm (sometimes up to 100 cm), containing 0. 5–1.5, 2.5–4.5% humus, somewhat structured (lumpy) and gradually turning into a humus-free horizon C. Many dark soddy soils of typical savannahs are carbonate from the surface or have a well-defined white-eyed horizon. In the lower part of horizon A or in horizon C, signs of coalescence, gleying, and restoration processes are often distinguished. Horizons A2 and B (eluvial and illuvial), as a rule, do not form in these soils. However, a transitional horizon AC 30–50 cm thick, containing 0.5–0.8% humus, is often distinguished. In the soil profile, especially in horizon C, ferruginous concretions are found. The C and D horizons often show uneven and sometimes sandy texture. There are also fragments of rocks and pebbles. All these features, especially inclusions and neoformations, clearly indicate the water-accumulative origin of parent rocks and the hydromorphic past of these soils.
    The hydromorphic past of dark humus soils sometimes manifests itself in residual salinity and the presence of gypsum in horizons AC and C, and sometimes in increased alkalinity and the presence of free soda or sodium bicarbonates (pH up to 9–10). The usual predominance of montmorillonite in the composition of clay minerals is also apparently inherited from the water-accumulative past of parent rocks or is the result of capillary-hydromorphic synthesis.
    The presence of large amounts of montmorillonite, the clayey mechanical composition (clay up to 40-60% and sometimes up to 80%) determine the high density, high bulk density (up to 1.8-2.1) and confluence of soils. However, confluence is not necessary: ​​among the dark humus soils of savannahs, structured varieties are widely represented.
    The absorption capacity is usually 30-40 mEq, and sometimes 60 or even 80 mEq, with a predominance of exchangeable calcium and a noticeable amount of exchangeable magnesium (8-25 mEq). Sometimes, however, in the lower horizons, exchangeable magnesium predominates over calcium; in these cases, the amount of exchangeable sodium is also increased (1.5-5-10 mg-eq).
    The swelling of black merged soils is exceptionally high. When moistened, they increase in volume by 25 and even 50%. The vertical movements of the soil mass reach 25–38 mm per year. This entails root ruptures, destruction of roads, walls and foundations, pipelines, and sometimes landslides. Cracks reach 1 m deep and 12 cm wide. Compression and strong swelling are associated most of all with the predominance of minerals of the montmorillonite group. Usually, as a result of these phenomena, the territories of dark merged soils of savannahs are distinguished by a pronounced microrelief and periodic mixing of humus and subhumus horizons. This allowed American researchers to propose the name «vertisol» for the merged and structureless dark soils of the tropics and subtropics.
    Among typical savannah soils, there are a number of transitions towards increasing hydromorphism. Marsh savannahs and black gley-soddy soils of low terraces and lakeside lowlands are representatives of such landscapes. Reeds, sedges, and halophytes often appear on relief depressions, and soils become gleyed, peaty, or saline, i. e., they become similar to gley-meadow, marshy, and meadow solonchak soils of the temperate zone.
    Secondary post-forest savannas inherit the acidic soil properties of tropical forests of a siallitic or allitic character. On terraces and slopes, with poor natural drainage, the soils of postforest anthropogenic savannas have a lateritic manganese-iron concretion horizon or a continuous ferruginous hardpen. These horizons are preserved in the acidic soddy soils of the savannas and often intensify after they dry out or become deserted, as is the case in North Africa and Australia.
    As one example of soils of post-forest savannahs, one can cite the “rubrozems” of South America.
    This name describes dark-colored humus soils widely distributed in southern Brazil (precipitation about 1400 mm per year, average annual temperature 16.3 ° C) under a cover of herbaceous vegetation with a predominance of Aurecaria angustifolia.
    The upper dark horizons of the soil resemble chernozem, but the lower horizons are colored red. The soil is highly clayey, extremely leached (non-calcareous) and has an acidic reaction throughout the profile (pH=4.2-4.8). The absorption capacity of the soil is quite high (=40 meq per 100 g). The authors indicate that they did not find signs of the formation of a clarified horizon A2 and migration of sesquioxides in the profile.
    Dark soddy soils of the subtropics and tropics are used in dry farming and irrigation. They successfully cultivate sorghum, rice, millet, sugar cane, and cotton. Wheat, corn, sunflower, soybeans, tobacco, oilseeds, cassava, and peanuts take second place in terms of value. The natural fertility of these soils is relatively stable, although not always high. It is known that the regura of India have maintained their productivity despite a century of use without fertilizer. However, nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers are always highly effective on them.
    The agrophysical properties of the merged varieties are unfavorable, their processing is difficult both in the wet (viscosity) and in the dry (confluence) state. After moistening, they form a dense crust (up to 2-3 cm), which makes it extremely difficult for normal seed germination. Processing, periodic moistening and drying, organic fertilizers, root residues gradually improve the physical properties of dark drained soils.
    The African savanna annually produces a huge amount of very rich and valuable phytomass for animals. The high productivity of the African savannas is associated with the abundance of elephants, hippos, buffaloes, rhinos, zebras, antelopes and other large herbivores. In addition, the African savannah feeds up to 100 million inhabitants, which also speaks of its productivity. The South American savannah is less productive; this is due to its secondary (post-forest) character.
    The development in the world market of demand for tropical agricultural products such as coffee, cocoa, rubber, cotton, the growing consumption of durable wood caused the deforestation of tropical forest and forest-park areas and a significant expansion of territories occupied by secondary grassy vegetation — savannah. This was especially facilitated by the logging-shifting type of farming system, the so-called shifting cultivation, when fields depleted of culture are abandoned for 15-20 years and are occupied by a secondary savanna or forest. New tracts of forest are cut down and burned for use in field crops. When the vegetation of forests or savannas is burnt out, short-term, but very strong changes in the chemical regime of soils naturally occur. Soil pH initially rises to 9-10, then, as carbonation and leaching of soluble compounds, the alkalinity decreases to a neutral or acidic level.
    The soils of the secondary savannas of Brazil, Venezuela, New Guinea, which arose after the destruction of tropical forests by man on ancient al-Litic or ferrallitic soils, are very poor and unproductive. Secondary herbaceous vegetation with regular burning of biomass is not able to create the same amount of biological cycle of minerals, nitrogen and carbon, which was under the canopy of tropical forests. The secondary post-forest savannahs of Africa produce only about 3. 6 t/ha of litter per month, while the tropical forest and tropical rainforest produce 1.6–2.5 t/ha of litter per month.
    The natural supply of biophilic elements in the allitic weathering crust and in the ancient eluvial soils of the humid tropics is negligible. Therefore, the secondary soddy process against the background of the leaching water regime of soils and the negative geochemical balance is not able to create fertile soddy soils. Soils retain and even increase leaching, acidity and low absorption capacity. The latter also occurs because humus reserves are rapidly declining. Savanna reburning, planar erosion, and drying on slopes often contribute to the hardening of ferruginous lateritic accumulative horizons on slopes. As a result, the soils of post-forest savannahs reduce their fertility to such an extent in 4-5 years that the cultivation of agricultural crops on them becomes unprofitable. Raising and maintaining the fertility of the acidic soddy soils of the savannahs is possible only through intensive fertilization and reasonable crop rotation.
    Dark humus montmorillonite soils as a product of a combination of a soddy process with an accumulative weathering crust and modern or ancient geochemical accumulation of water-soluble and clay minerals are an exceptionally striking example of a planetary (transcontinental) soil-geochemical formation occupying poorly drained flat land surfaces. The cartogram (Fig. 87) shows the areas of distribution of soils of this formation. Thermal and general climatic conditions for the formation of these soils are very diverse (from wet and dry tropics to a moderately cold zone). But under different conditions, there is one common feature of the climate here: periodic dryness, which limits the possibility of the existence of forests and contributes to the evaporative accumulation of mobile products of weathering and soil formation.

    This formation is represented by a large number of different soils: chernozems, brynizems (prairie soils), dark (black) cotton soils, tar, black earths, terra negra, regura, thyrses, dark meadow soils, black fissure clays, black carbonate (margalite) soils, black gley soils, grumosols, vertisols, etc.
    The named varieties of dark montmorillonite calcium humus soils are located in various thermal belts from the equator to latitudes of 50-60°. They are used in agriculture for cultivation of various crops, as well as for hayfields and pastures, and are consistently fertile soils, although subject to drought, erosion, plowing and depletion in monoculture.
    Infertile varieties are also present in this soil formation: acidic, alkaline, saline, merged — structureless, eroded, Ho infertile soils are not typical representatives and the result of the soddy process of soil formation. On the contrary, the sod process contributes to their improvement. The dark color of these soils is primarily due to the presence of humus, a direct product of grass biogenesis. However, in many cases, in warm and hot thermal zones, the humus content is low and clearly does not correspond to the dark color of the soil. A number of researchers suggest that the dark color of these soils is also due to their hydromorphic past (or present): gley content, iron and manganese compounds, ferruginous type of montmorillonite, sorbed humus in the interpacket spaces of the mobile montmorillonite lattice.

    Savannah breed, description of cats, character, care, what to feed

    1. History of the Savannah cat
    2. Personality and temperament Savannah
    3. Physical characteristics
    4. Color
    5. How to feed a cat of the Sa breed baths
    6. Savannah vaccinations
    7. Health and Savannah care
    8. Who should get a Savannah cat:
    9. Interesting facts

    Savannah is a large breed of cat, bred by crossing a domestic cat and a serval, a wild representative of the cat family that lives in the expanses of the African continent. Its main features are represented by a striking resemblance to wild ancestors and, of course, large sizes: at the withers, these animals reach 60 centimeters, and the weight, depending on the sex and class of the individual, can range from 7 to 15 kg.

    History of the Savannah cat

    The Savannah cat breed is a hybrid of an ordinary domestic cat and a wild serval or bush cat. This unusual hybrid has become popular among hobbyists since the late nineties, and in 2001 the International Cat Association recognized the Savannah as a new breed, and in May 2012 TICA gave the breed champion status.

    And the story began on April 7, 1986, when Judy Frank crossed a serval cat (owned by Susie Woods) with a Siamese cat. The born kitten was named Savannah, which is why the name of the whole breed went.

    Savannah was the first of the breed and the first generation of hybrids (F1). At that time, nothing was clear about the fertility of the new cats, however, Savannah was not sterile and a number of kittens were born from her, which represented a new generation — F2.

    Susie Wood wrote two magazine articles about the breed, which caught the attention of Patrick Kelly, who dreamed of a new breed of cat that looked like a wild animal.

    He contacted Susie and Judy, but they were not interested in further work on the cats. So Patrick bought Savannah-born cats from them and invited several serval breeders to take part in the breeding.

    But very few of them were interested in it. This didn’t stop Patrick, and he eventually convinced one breeder, Joyce Sroufe, to join forces. At this time, the F2 generation kittens gave birth, and the F3 generation appeared.

    Joyce Sroufe became a very successful Savannah cat breeder and is considered the founder. Thanks to her patience, perseverance and confidence, as well as her deep knowledge of genetics, more kittens were born than other breeders.

    In addition, her cattery was one of the first in which kittens of later generations and fertile cats appeared. Joyce was also the first to introduce the new breed to the world, at an exhibition in New York in 1997.

    Savannah personality and temperament

    Incredibly intelligent, resourceful, energetic and playful, the Savannah cat is somewhat like a dog. He is easy to train and loves to walk outside on a leash.
    These cats do not like the cold, but they love water very much, and with your permission they will bathe in the bath.

    And the ability of the savannas to jump vertically upwards shocks everyone. They are sociable, get along well with other animals living in the house. If you have a dog, then the savannah will be a wonderful friend for her.

    They adapt well to life in any conditions, but require constant attention of the owners. While you are doing household chores, Savannah cats will accompany you, moving behind you. In your absence, the savannah will be waiting for you at the door. She will go out to meet the stranger first.

    An oddity has been noted in the socialization of these animals. So some representatives of the breed gladly and willingly make new contacts both with people and other representatives of the living fauna. While others are overly shy and withdrawn. According to zoopsychologists, the main culprit for inappropriate behavior is only the owners, who could not properly raise an unusual pet.

    Physical Characteristics

    The Savannah looks like a mini cheetah. Noble posture, unusually large ears, long legs and a striking cheetah coloration. The coat is short and very soft — not requiring much care and not causing trouble even during shedding.

    The size of the Savannah depends primarily on the generation — the percentage of Serval blood. The largest are the F1 and F2 generation males, they are about 2.5 times larger than an ordinary domestic cat, reaching a weight of up to 14 kilograms.

    Savannah’s height is impressive — up to 45 cm at the withers. Savannahs take about three years to reach their maximum size. However, due to their tall, lanky, and slender build, even the lightest Savannah appears much larger and heavier than it actually is.


    Savannah short coat in the following colors:

    • tabby cinnamon;
    • chocolate;
    • gold;
    • brown;
    • silver.

    The coloring and pattern of a Savannah cat is significantly affected by the appearance of a domestic cat taken for crossing with a Serval (or Savannah) cat. It is interesting that when breeding a savannah with a serval cat, the offspring in character remains the same “domestic cat”, while the appearance of the kittens becomes more “serval”.

    How to Feed a Savannah Cat

    In the first weeks of life in a new home, stick to the diet that the kitten is used to. The diet is changed gradually, trying to provide the growing body with nutritious foods.

    There is an opinion that it is better to feed the Savannah with raw meat. Still, she is a direct descendant of the African predator. Natural nutrition increases the lifespan of a cat by 5-10 years. However, many breeders prefer to give their pets premium dry food with a minimum grain content:

    • Royal Canin Babycat 34 (up to 4 months),
    • BABYCAT instinctive (up to 4 months),
    • KITTEN instinctive (4 to 12 months),
    • Recovery Feline/Canine Royal Canin for active growth,
    • Digestive Comfort 38 (from 4 months).

    Taurine treats should be included in the diet for heart support. Kittens are given vitamin supplements for kittens with taurine, colostrum, l-carotene. You can give multivitamin paste for kittens.

    A large cat needs a large litter box, plenty of room to play, sturdy furniture, and a person who will pay attention and feed them well.

    Inoculations for the Savannah

    To prevent diseases of the savannah, it is necessary to carry out vaccination against epizootics and the common cold in time. These diseases are dangerous and can be fatal.

    Vaccinations are made at the discretion of the veterinarian, depending on the sanitary and epidemiological situation in the city.

    The Savannah cat is susceptible to «urban» infections. Vaccination of offspring against rabies and FVP rhinotracheitis is carried out according to the scheme at 12 weeks. Veterinarians recommend sparing vaccines and strict adherence to the schedule of repeated vaccinations.

    Health and Care Savannahs

    Savannahs are healthy and long-lived, remaining active and strong into old age.

    Savannahs love a lot of space, so the ideal place for them to live would be a private house with a plot. You can make a special fenced area for walking and a small pool or pond.

    Cats need to be bathed once a month, but they need access to water all the time. Every week it is worth combing the coat and checking the condition of the eyes and ears.

    Who should get a Savannah cat:

    • exotic lovers — of course, the originality of the breed is beyond doubt, do not forget that the Savannah is still extremely rare, so its owners will undoubtedly stand out among other cat lovers;
    • large families — if you have children or pets already live in the house, then the savannah will get along with them as well as possible, besides, the cat itself, in the absence of the owner, will also not be bored in the company of her brothers;
    • for single people — if you need a friend and faithful companion, it is not necessary to opt for a dog. Savannah by fidelity will completely replace the dog and attract the admiring glances of others during the walk.

    By alexxlab

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