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Large areas of land that are dominated by grass and herbaceous plants. Grasslands occur naturally in almost every continent except for Antartica. Natural grasslands recieve about 10-35 inches of rain per year. Which is a bit more than deserts recieve, and far less than Tropical Rainforests receive per year.
Prairie dogs mostly eat grass and flowers, but they will occasionally eat small insects such as grasshoppers. A full grown prairie dog will only get to be from 1-3 pounds. They live together underground in systems of burrows and tunnels. Prairie Dogs also help keep the grasslands maintained by keeping the grass height down. In my exhibit, there will need to be a thick layer of dirt in order for them to burrow. Scince they survive mainly on plants, plenty of plants will need to be provided.
Ostriches are herbovores, they only eat plants, like grass, bushes, flowers, and other shrubs. They are to big to fly, but their legs are perfect for running. They can get up to speeds like 70 mph. They are very tall and can measure up to 9 feet in height. Ostriches lay huge eggs which need to stay incubated to hatch, so the ostriches will need to be kept warm during colder months in the zoo. Plants should be abundant in order to support ostriches.
Fleabane Flowers require full sun in order to grow. They also require poor soil with clay and/or stone content and dry conditions. Fleabanes wouldnt be able to compete with other large plants that tend to grow on moist, rich soil. Little rain is not a problem for this plant at all. They can reach to about 3 feet tall and their leaves can even get to be 4 inches long. There won't be much maintaince needed for this flower. In my zoo, I will need to make sure to get direct sunlight and keep the exhibit as dry as possible in the humid months.
Sun flowers are huge flowers that need full sun since they grow to get to be as big as over 9 feet tall. They also dont need very much water, just like the other plants that grow in the grasslands. They are adapted to dry spells, but they can get too much water. Too much rain will cause the soil to loosen which wont be able to support the weight of the flower. Sun Flowers will sometimes grow on their own which means it needs no help.
CottonWood Trees play a very important role in the grasslands. Big trees like these provide shade to many animals.These trees are usually found near water, so there is enough of it to survive. Even though Cottonwoods are very well adapted to the hot and dry conditions, they still need a large amount of water to support it. So in my zoo, I will have to make sure that there is a few ponds or lakes around the trees. Not only for the plants, but also for the animals to drink.
Indian grass is the most abundant plant in the grasslands. It's a perrenial plant and itis very tall. It needs full to partial sunlight and slighty moist to dry conditions. Any soil is tolerated, even gravel and clay filled soil. It mostly grows during the warm months. it is the main food source of many prairie animals. It also helps keep smaller ground animals safe from predators. There really won't be any maintaince for the indian grass, since it grows in almost any condition.
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