Grasslands are approximately between 20% to 40% of the total area of the Earth’s surface and these grasslands are home to many wildlife species and plants. Grassland animals feed on grass and grass seeds and predators of these animals are bigger animals such as lions, wolves, cheetahs, etc. The herding herbivores animals are keystones for the biodiversity and ecosystems on many continents. The following is the list of the top 10 grassland animals in the world,
1. Long-billed Curlew
The Long-billed Curlew scientifically known as Numenius americanus is a North American shorebird known for its long bill. The bird species is also known as the Candlestick bird and the Sicklebird. As of now, eight species of curlews known to humans exist across the globe.
The animal species can be seen on savannahs, ocean Shores and dry grasslands. It can grow upto 19.6 to 25.5 inches and weighs between 17.2 to 33.5 ounces. The natural predators of Long-billed Curlew are snakes, coyotes, red foxes, feral dogs, Swainson’s hawk, and ferruginous Hawk. Long-billed Curlew preys on insects, crabs, crustaceans, fish, and worms.
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Image Source: Wikimedia
2. African Elephant
African Elephant scientifically known as Loxodonta can grow upto 8.2 to 13 feet (hieght till shoulder) and weighs between 2.5 to seven tons. The avarage lifespan of African Elephants is upto 70 years in the wild making them one of the longest living animals in the world. African Elephants are also known as savanna elephants and also the largest land mammal in the world.
It is one of the popular forest animals that prefer to live in the savannas of Africa. Africa has two species of elephants namely, the savanna elephant and the forest elephant. The animal species feed on grasses, fruits, tree leaves, bark, shrubs, and vines. It is also listed as one of the heaviest animals in the world.
3. Black-Footed Ferret
The black-Footed Ferret is the only ferret species native to the continent. The animal species is an endangered mammal because of habitat loss and non-native diseases seen in North America. It is scientifically known as Mustela nigripes and belongs to the family Mustelidae.
As of now, there are three species of ferret known to humans namely the European polecat, the Siberian polecat, and the black-footed ferret. The female ferrets are known as “jills,” and males are known as “hobs”. The young ones are known as “kits.” The avarage lifespan of the ferret species is 1 t 3 years in the wild.
4. Plains Zebra
Plains Zebra are also known as common zebra is one of the popular grassland animals mostly seen in the regions of eastern and southern Africa. The other two species of Zebra are Grevy’s zebras and mountain zebras. Taking the average size, plain zebras are smaller than the other two species of zebra.
Common zebra will grow upto the hieght of 1-1.5 m (3.5-5 ft.) and weighs around 450 kg (1000 lbs.). One of the animals that starts with the letter z comes in a different stripe pattern compares to other animal species. The black and white animal comes with good hearing and eyesight that helps them to protect themselves from predators such as lions, hyenas, and cheetahs.
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Pronghorn is an antelope-like species found in North America. As of now, 4 species of Pronghorn are known to humans seen in the regions of Mexico, Arizona, and the great plain of Canada. The species inhabits open grasslands and deserts as well. The best part is that they can survive upto an altitude of 11 000 feet.
It can grow upto 3 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet long and the avarage wieght of the species vary between 90 to 150 pounds. Talking about the apperance, it comes in reddish-brown color along with a white belly and white stripes on the throat. The avarage wieght of 7 to 10 years in the wild and 12 years in captivity.
6. Przewalski’s horse
Przewalski’s horse is named after Russian geographer and explorer Colonel Nikolai Przhevalsky because he rediscovered the animal’s species in the year 1878 for European science. It is subspecies of Equus ferus and is considered a cousin to zebras and the wild ass that belongs to the Equidae family.
It is also known as the Mongolian wild horse or Dzungarian horse and it was originally native to the steppes of Central Asia. The avarage lifespan of Przewalski’s horse is 36 years in the wild. It is a herbivorous animal and loves to have a graminivorous diet that consists of grass and various plants.
7. Swift Fox
Swift Fox is a fox species found in North America. The animal species are native to the Great Plains region of North America and extend to the region of the central part of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada, and south to Texas. It likes to thrive in the regions of short-grass prairies and grasslands.
The avarage lifespan of Swift foxes is between 3 and 6 years in the wild and up to 14 years in captivity. This is the smallest fox species in North America that can grow upto 30 cm (12 in) in height and 80 cm (31 in) long (head to tail). The avarage wieght of animal species is 2.3 to 3.2 kg. Swift Foxes are solitary animals but not during the breeding season.
Image Source: USFWS Mountain-Prairie
8. Greater one-horned rhino or “Indian Rhino”
The greater one-horned rhino also known as Indian Rhino is the second biggest of the rhino species followed by the white rhino. The avarage wieght of rhino species is between 4-6,000 pounds (1,800-2,700 kg). Talking about the appearance, it has an ashy grey skin color and resembles armor plating.
The maximum thickness of the skin is 4 cm. It has one horn which is 20-61 cm long and weighs upto 3 kg. The primary use of horns is searching for food and to forage for roots. The avarage lifespan of the Indian Rhino is between 35 to 45 years in the wild.
9. American Bison
American Bison’s closest relative is African or water buffalo, gazelles, and antelopes that belong to the family Bovidae. This is the largest land animal in North America where males are higher the females. It can reach upto a length of up to 10 feet and the avarage wieght is between 930 to 2200 pounds.
The total hieght of bison species is 6.6 feet. The group of bison is known as herd, gang, or obstinacy and is known for the short, curved, and sharp black horns on its head. The avarage lifespan of bison in the wild is between 12 to 20 years.
10. Common Emu
Common Emu is the second largest bird in the world followed by the ostrich which can grow upto 2m tall. The avarage lifespan of bird species is between 10 to 20 years in the wild. Common Emu primarily feeds on plants and insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, and cockroaches.
The predators of Emu are wild dogs, humans, and crocodiles. The bird species comes with big Bodies and tiny wings and are endemic to Australia. It can grow upto 6 feet tall (1.8 meters)(bill to tail) and avarage wieght of 120 pounds (54 kilograms). The avarage lifespan of bird species is between 10-20 years in the wild and 35 years in captivity.
These are the top 10 grassland animals in the world. Kindly share and do post your comments.