The African & Australian Savanna Food Webs

The African & Australian Savanna Food Webs
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  • 0:03 The Savanna
  • 0:34 What Is a Food Web?
  • 1:32 Savanna Biomes
  • 1:59 African Savanna
  • 2:46 Australian Savanna
  • 3:49 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Amanda Robb
This lesson is on the food webs of the African and Australian savanna. In this lesson, we'll learn what a food web is and why it is important to study them. We'll go over what a savanna is and look at two specific examples of food webs in each savanna.

The Savanna

With it's quiet grasslands and warm temperatures, the savanna might look peaceful, but predators lurk just beneath the surface of tempting watering holes, waiting for a meal. Giant Salties, or saltwater crocodiles, are the top predators, snapping at anything that dares to come near the water's edge. These interactions are called predator-prey relationships and are the focus of our lesson today. Here, we'll see who eats who in this dangerous biome known as the savanna.

What Is a Food Web?

Before we get into the details of the wild, we need to understand a food web, which is how we will learn about the different species in the savanna. A food web is a diagram showing the transfer of energy between species. Since energy is transferred as food, food webs basically show what eats what in an ecosystem. Food webs involve many species in an ecosystem and can be quite complicated.

All food webs are divided into sections called trophic layers. The bottom layer of a food chain is the producers. Producers are organisms that make their own food. Usually, the producers are green plants, but can also be algae, microscopic organisms, or bacteria. Primary consumers eat the producers, making them vegetarians, also known as herbivores. Secondary consumers are carnivorous, eating the primary consumers. Tertiary consumers are the top predators in the ecosystem, eating both primary and secondary consumers.

Savanna Biomes

The world's climate can be divided into large regions called biomes. Biomes are land masses with similar climate, precipitation, and temperatures. Biomes may be located on different continents but still share the same characteristics. A savanna is a type of biome with distinct wet and dry seasons and high temperatures. Grasslands and small trees dot the landscape. The specific flora and fauna depend on what part of the globe the savanna is located in.

African Savanna

The African savanna is located in the middle and Southern regions of Africa. Grass, small trees, and shrubs cover the ground, spaced far enough apart to allow plenty of light to penetrate the grasslands. Large, grazing animals are the main primary consumers. Gazelles, giraffes, elephants, antelope, wildebeest, zebras, and impalas eat the producers. Small rodents and insects also eat producers, making them primary consumers. Secondary consumers include reptiles and game birds, which eat the rodents and insects. Large cats dominate the top of the food web as tertiary predators. Lions and cheetahs prefer the large grazing animals but will also eat secondary consumers like birds. Crocodiles also eat the grazing animals like zebra and impala.

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