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Prairies of the World

        Prairie is the word we use in North America for the large expanse of grassland in the middle of the continent.  It is a word that came into our language from the French trappers and traders that were among the first European people to see this land of broad horizons and few trees.  The grassland biome (as ecologists know it) may be found in other parts of the world also.

Prairies of the World
Map graphic used by permission of The Evergreen Project, Inc.  See links below.


In South America it is called the pampa.


In Africa it is called the veldt.


In Asia it is called the steppe.

Whatever it is called, it is a habitat where the dominant plant community consists of grasses and non-woody flowering plants called forbs.  The animals that live in the grassland biome must be adapted to use this food base.  They must also be able to tolerate the climate.  Precipitation is scarce (35-80 cm. per year) and seasonal in abundance.  The temperature often has extreme shifts during the year as well.

Cool! Explore grasslands in the "What's It Like Where You Live?" web site created by
The Evergreen Project for the Missouri Botanical Garden!

If you want to learn more about the African veldt, visit the web site for the Swaziland National Trust Commission.

If you know of any other natural history web sites pertaining to the grassland biome, please tell us about them!

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Questions or comments?  Send Email to Jim Mason Spidey
Or write us at: 
Great Plains Nature Center
6232 E. 29th Street North
Wichita, KS 67220-2200             Call:  316-683-5499            Fax:  316-688-9555