Temperate Grassland

Lenny Gross

Climate:

The climate of temperate grasslands are semiarid. In a temperate grassland, you should expect anything between 10 and 20 inches of precipitation per year, much of it being snow. During the summer, it's mostly warm but will vary depending on the latitude of the grassland.

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Plant Adaptations:
  • The ironweed has adapted to be more colorful so that it can attract more pollinators.
  • Blue grass has developed long roots that stretch deep into the soil in order to tap into the water that has over time percolated into the ground.
  • The Joe Pye Weed has an extremely soft stem so that it is able to swing in the wind because of the heavy breezes that can easily swoop over the flatlands.
  • The Common Ragweed in the temperate grassland biome has taken advantage of the wind, and uses the wind to send its seeds away. It produces multiple billions of grains of pollin annually.
  • The Dogbane plant has developed long root systems not only so it can tap into the water system, but also so grazing animals cannot easliy remove the plant.
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(an Ironweed plant)

Animal Adaptations
  • The Zebra has developed very thin skin to let the heat out and stay cool. It also has mainly white skin to reflect back some of the sunlight. Zebras also developed stripes so as a group, predators find them harder to catch. Zebras also have adapted to have long legs and be able to run very fast.
  • The lions brown skin helps them blend in with their flatland, mostly brown vegetated, environment. They've developed a very acute sense of smell and very sharp teeth in order to cut the flesh of its prey. The lion has also adapted to have strong hind legs to be able to run after its prey more effectively.
  • Prairie dogs, like the lion, have developed strong hind legs, but instead of using them for hunting like the lion, the prairie dog uses them to stand up and look out for predators.
  • The gray wolf has developed a very acute sense of hearing, smell, and sight. The gray wolf has also developed an extremely powerful jaw so that its teeth can literally rip flesh right off of bone. The wolfs body, also, over time has adapted to have more stamina and built for endurance.
  • The gazelle has developed very strong legs to be able to sprint (in some cases according to national geographic) up to 40 miles per hour. Their medium size also means less skin area for excess moisture loss through evaporation.

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(a group of zebras grazing on the grassland)

Symbiotic Relationships

Predator Prey:
The lion and the gazelle. The lion stalks the herd of gazelle until they are most vunerable and than choose to strike. Possibly when they are eating or grazing.

Parasitism:
  1. The deer tick and the deer. The tick attaches itself to the deer where it feeds off the host, embeds its eggs under the skin of the host, and survives from it without killing it.
  2. The brown headed cowbird and other grassland birds. The brown headed cowbird will lay it's eggs in other nets of birds and raise all the birds in that other species nest.
Commensalism:
  1. The cattle and the cattle egret. While the cattle graze, they unintentionally disturb insect life in the areas in which they pass through. The cattle egret feast off the already dead insects and benefit from it, while the cattle remain unaffected by the other organisms actions.
  2. Nurseplant and small seedlings. When plants are beginning to grow, and they are victim to the harsh sun and bitter col, they often die. When a nurseplant is present, its long leaves protect the small seedlings from the blistering sun and tough grassland winters.
Mutualism:
  1. Bacteria and herbivores. Herbivores like the cow have trouble breaking down celulose, so small bacteria in there stomach help break it down. The bacteria is benefitting because it is housed and has nutrients to survive on and the cow is benefitting because its stomach contents are being broken down.
  2. The oxpecker and the rinoceros. The oxpecker rides on the rino and eats off the ticks that have laid eggs and have been feeding off that rino. They also let out a loud skreach when danger is approaching because they have much better eyesight than the rino. The bird benefits because he has protection on the rino, and also has something to eat, and rino is benefiting because he is becoming tick-free.