Tropical grasslands are full of life. In the savanna, insect populations are very high. Insects like termites and even locusts, number in the billions. What is more amazing is the variety of animals that live in the savanna.
During the raining seasons, large herds of wildebeests in the Serengeti National Park graze in the southeastern part of the park around the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. In January and February, pregnant wildebeests give birth to calves. When the spring and early summer rains end, great herds of wildebeest travel north to follow the water. Thousands of Burchell's zebras, Grant's gazelles, elands, and Thompson's gazelles follow them. They travel as far as the Masoi Mara of Kenya and stay there until November, when they follow the rains back to the south. Predators sometimes follow these African herbivores.
Predators need to be quick, powerful, smart, and sneaky to bring down fast and alert animals, like gazelles. Cheetahs, for instance, are built to move fast. These animals can reach speeds of up to 80 miles an hour (129 kilometers per hour). Other savanna predators, like lions, sneak up on their prey. Sometimes they will hunt with their pride and ambush unsuspecting prey. Hyenas and Australian dingoes also hunt in groups. These animals are also scavengers. Other meat eating scavengers in the savanna are vultures and long-legged marabou storks.
There are many different types of birds that live in the tropical grassland. One of the most well known birds is the ostrich, which resides in Africa. Other relatives of the ostrich live in different tropical grasslands. The emu lives in Australia and the rhea in South American grasslands.
Vultures and secretary birds can be seen flying over the savanna searching for food with their keen eyes. Periodically they can be seen diving for rodents they have spotted from high in the clouds. One of the most famous rodents of the savanna in South Africa is the aardvark. These spunky, termite-eating rodents almost look like giant sized armadillos. Aardvark is a South African Boer word meaning "earth pig". Aardvarks have powerful front claws that can dig into the soil very easily. They dig burrows when surprised in the open, and for homes. Large herbivores, like elephants, black rhinoceroses, giraffes, gnus, antelopes, and hippopotamuses also live in the African Savanna.