One-fourth of all of Earth's land area is covered in grassland. Grasslands are very grassy, windy and are partly dry. There are two types of grasslands: tropical grasslands and temperate grasslands. Temperate grasslands are in areas with hot summers and cold winters. They have very rich soil because the evaporation rate in these areas is very high. Many different types of animals live in the temperate grasslands, from invertebrates to mammals. Animals in temperate grasslands have adapted to dry and windy conditions.
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Many different rodents inhabit the areas covered by temperate grasslands. These include hares, mice and many other small rodents. The main reason why so many rodents inhabit temperate grasslands is because they have sharp teeth, which enables the rodents to gnaw through the grass. Rodents found in the North American temperate grasslands include prairie dogs, rats, mice and ground squirrels. Rodents found in the Eurasian grasslands include hamsters, mice, gerbils, susliks, viscachas, chinchillas and cavies. Rodents found in the Australian temperate grasslands include the wombat and the rat kangaroo.
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Temperate grasslands are also home to many large animals. These large animals are mostly grazing mammals, burrowing animals and their many predators. Large animals found in the North American temperate grassland prairies include bison and pronghorn antelopes. Australian temperate grasslands are home to large animals including wallabies and kangaroos. The Asian temperate grasslands are home to the saiga antelope. Other mammals living in the temperate grasslands include coyotes, prairie dogs, gophers, bobcats, the grey wolf, foxes, lynx, and deer.
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A few of the animals found in temperate grasslands have become endangered. Due to farming, animal habitat destruction in temperate grasslands, as well as grassland destruction in general, is common. Animals affected by this habitat destruction include prairie chickens found in the temperate grasslands of North America, northern bald ibis found in Morocco and the African wild dog found in the temperate grasslands in central sub-Saharan Africa. The prairie chickens are affected because they cannot migrate and as long as farming erodes grasslands, the chicken's population will continue to decline. Similarly, the African wild dog's population is also reducing due to the reduction in habitat size and infectious poisoning by the human population.
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Many other types of animals reside in the temperate grasslands across the world, including birds and insects. The many birds living in the temperate grasslands include eagles, wild turkey, Canada geese, falcons, sharp-tailed grouses and fly catchers. Insects include grasshoppers, caterpillars, locusts, lady beetles, scarab beetles, stinkbugs and dragonflies. Temperate grasslands contain a variety of reptiles and amphibians as well. Reptiles include the adder, frilled lizard, grass snake, sand goanna, shingleback skink and slow worm. Amphibians include the common toad, the great crested newt and the Siberian salamander.