Organisms Of The African Savanna Essay

1369 words - 6 pages

THE MEERKAT
(Suricata suricatta)

The meerkat , otherwise known as the suricate, is a small, furry member of the Mongoose family (Herpestidae) that can stand upright. The creatures have round, fluffy bellies with smaller, more slender limbs. Their snouts are small and pointed, coming to a sharp tip at the animal’s black nose. It lives in the African Savanna grasslands in groups of twenty five to fifty. These groups are called mobs or manors. The female meerkat gives birth to two to five pups at a time, which are born hairless and unable to see. The life expectancy for these pups is about twelve to fourteen years. The creatures live in close-knit webs of intertwining tunnels located ...view middle of the document...

One interesting adaptation of the meerkat is its astonishing immunity to spider and scorpion venoms. This allows it to eat a multitude of spiders and scorpions, thereby keeping the populations of these Arachnida in check. Another adaptation is the meerkat’s sharp, non-retractable claws perfect for foraging and digging in the sand. While keeping watch, meerkats must stare into the bright Savanna sun for extended periods of time; the creatures have developed dark circles around their eyes to minimize glare. The eyes themselves are frontward facing and offer superb peripheral vision, allowing the meerkat to easily detect predators. Meerkats’ tails are very strong; the animals use them for balance while standing. They act as a sort of “third leg”. While digging, the meerkat is able to completely close its ears to keep out sand and debris.
Blending in is the meerkat’s specialty. Their tawny fur with silver sheen provides excellent camouflage given their sandy habitat, which glistens in the sun. In addition, meerkats band together to confuse and scare off predators, forming one, massive, furry beast. Each meerkat fluffs up its fur and hisses, creating quite a fearsome spectacle. It is hard for a predator to pick out an individual meerkat when the whole group is so tightly packed together.
Currently the meerkat population is at a stable 500,000. Living- limiting factors to the meerkat population include eagles, hawks, and foxes. Just as the meerkat keeps the scorpion and spider populations from exploding out of control, so the predators of the meerkat do for it. Nonliving limiting factors include deforestation and use of Savanna grasslands for grazing livestock. These practices gradually disturb and destroy parts of the meerkat’s habitat, limiting the range in which it can safely survive.

THE JACKAL BERRY TREE
Diospyros mespiliformis

The Jackal Berry Tree, otherwise known as the African ebony tree, grows in the African Savanna grasslands. It is a member of the family Ebenacae. This slow growing tree has a dark, wide trunk (up to eighteen feet in diameter!) that is characterized by large, vertical grooves. Standing tall at fifteen to eighteen feet, the Jackal Berry tree has a large, full canopy of muted green leaves, which have an elliptical shape and can be nearly six inches in length. These canopies provide some of the small amount of shade that exists in the flat, endless landscape of the Savanna.
The Jackal Berry Tree goes into bloom in the dry season, sporting beautiful grey-white flowers with tiny hairs on them. The tree gets its name from its berries, which start out bright yellow and then turn purple when they become ripe. The berries grow only during the wet season. Only the female Jackal Berry Trees have the ability to produce fruits. They are the shape of dates, about one inch in diameter. The seeds of these fruits have been found in the dung of jackal, indicating that the jackal consumes the berries. This is how the tree got...

Other Essays Like Organisms Of The African Savanna

The Purpose Of The African Union Mission In Somalia (AMISOM)

1152 words - 5 pages The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on the surface is an effective fighting force in Somalia; however, the success of AMISOM is contingent upon Ugandan participation. The existence of AMISOM is due to a long Somali history of political / economic instability and the current struggle against the Somalia based terrorist organization, Al-Shabaab. The overall objective within Somalia is to eliminate or at a minimum contain the Al-Shabaab

The Evolution Of African-American Gospel Music In America

4640 words - 19 pages African American religious music is generally said to have originated from the time of slavery where Africans were brought to America to work on plantations. They were forced to adopt the language and religion of their masters, sing their songs, and in the process manifest their musical instincts in a body of songs known as the spirituals. Spirituals are often referred to as "sorrow songs" because many of them express the lamentations of

The History Of Hate Crimes Of African Americans And How It Became A Controverial Issue Today

2096 words - 9 pages African Americans have suffered and struggled throughout their history due to a variation of factors. One main factor involved in causing this is due to the racial prejudice and hate crimes perpetrated against them. In the United States, there have been movements and laws to protect these individuals from such acts of hatred; but injustice continues today as it has in past years. Although, hate crimes are against the law, individuals continue to

To What Extent Had the Livyes of African Americans Lives Changed by 1945

1040 words - 5 pages To what extent had the lives of African Americans in the USA changed by 1945? From the late 1800’s to early 1945, the lives of African Americans both in the Northern and Southern states had improved but only to a minor extent. America in the 1800’s, was a country riddled with hypocrisy when it came to the treatment of black people, particularly in the South. The notion of the founding principals of America were that “all [people are] born with

The Influence of Pop Media on Latina and African American Girls' Self Esteem

3985 words - 16 pages Running Head: THE INFLUENCE OF POP MEDIA ON LATINA AND AFRICAN AMERICAN GIRLS’ SELF-ESTEEM THE INFLUENCE OF POP MEDIA ON LATINA AND AFRICAN AMERICAN GIRLS’ BODYIMAGE, PERCEPTIONS AND SELF-ESTEEM Lubianka Lopez Calstate Los Angeles I. Research Problem Adolescence is a critical period of growth and emotional turmoil. Adolescence is typically defined as the period beginning about 10-12 years of age and

Leith Mullings' On Our Own Terms: Race, Class, And Gender In The Lives Of African American Women

890 words - 4 pages The Author of this book (On our own terms: race, class, and gender in the lives of African American Women) Leith Mullings seeks to explore the modern and historical lives of African American women on the issues of race, class and gender. Mullings does this in a very analytical way using a collection of essays written and collected over a twenty five year period. The author’s systematic format best explains her point of view. The book explores

How Far Were the Actions of the African Americans the Main Reason for the Advancement of the Civil Rights in the Period 1865-1980?

4828 words - 20 pages How far were the actions of the African Americans the main reason for the advancement of the Civil Rights in the period 1865-1980? “Power concedes nothing without demand, it never has and it never will”[1]. Said by Fredrick Douglass in 1857, an escaped slave who had bearded the brunt of the slave years. He had come to the realisation that African Americans had a fountain of “power”; however that power that they possessed would never

Bad Hair Day: This Is A Look At African American's And The Importance Of Hair And The Role It Plays Within The Community

1294 words - 6 pages , will show that things not only are at a standstill but seem to be getting worse. A recent advertisement in Essence magazine for the relaxer Dark and Lovely, celebrating their 30th anniversary, displays the three generations of product with a picture of a woman at each stop. The first is an African Masai-looking woman, next is a traditional dark-skinned big-lipped woman and the third, most contemporary, is a light skin straight haired women

What Were The Crucial Differences In The Ideologies Of Du Bois And Washington And Which Of Them Do You Think Contributed Most To The Advancement Of African-Americans In The Early Twentieth Century?

2552 words - 11 pages Black life in the early twentieth century was mainly dominated by the effects of Jim Crow tantamount to 'lynching, disenfranchisement, discrimination and other oppressions' . A full African-American citizenship had not been achieved yet and the population was split into different camps by two charismatic political figures who both tried to improve the situation for African-Americans: Booker Taliaferro Washington and William Edward Burghardt Du

How Far Do You Agree That the Impact of the Second World War Was the Main Reason Why the Position of African-Americans Improved in the Years 1945-55?

1923 words - 8 pages There are three main factors that improved the position of African-Americans in the years 1945-55, the first being World War II, the second is Presidents and the third is Civil Rights Organisations. There are a few significant factors that occurred as a result of the Second World War. For example, the 'Double V Campaign' of 1942. Two months after the Bombing of Pearl Harbour by the Japanese, the Pittsburgh Courier (the most popular black

To What Extent Was the Lack of Support from Presidents and Congress the Main Reason Why Little Progress Was Made in the Development of African-American Rights Between 1896 and 1941?

1351 words - 6 pages To what extent was the lack of support from Presidents and Congress the main reason why little progress was made in the development of African-American rights between 1896 and 1941? In 1896, politicians were still a direct way in which African-Americans could use to gain higher levels of civil rights in the United States of America. It is arguable therefore that the support from Presidents and Congress over the time period of 1896 to 1941 was

Related Papers

The Dynamic Of African American Folktales

3942 words - 16 pages Introduction African American folklore has long been a topic of interest to anthropologists, many of them very high profile. These folklorists include Joel Chandler Harris, compiler of the now famous Br’er Rabbit Stories, Zora Neale Hurston, an early African American anthropologist and student of Franz Boas, who made her name recording the folklore of black communities in her native Florida, as well as by more recent and celebrated academics

The Portrayal Of African American Women

1977 words - 8 pages The Portrayal of African American Women Hansberry uses a series of characters, phrases and words in order to bring out African American women’s struggles during her time. For example, in her play, “A Raisin in the Sun”, the playwright uses the phrase “drop the Garbo routine”. Through this phrase, the author is trying to show how men wanted women to know their place in society. This fact is seen through one of the characters in the

American Media; The Portrayal Of African Americans

1135 words - 5 pages American Media; the Portrayal of African Americans The media depicts black America in an unsavory tone. I see “black people” as big butted, gold chain wearing, uneducated, rapper swearing gangsters. Socially, the black community sometimes takes pride in these stereotypes; perpetuating the stigma. African Americans are a minority community even though we have an African American as President. The reason for this is the media. My personal

The Treatment Of African And Native Slaves

1114 words - 5 pages The Treatment of African and Native Slaves: Through the Accounts of Bartolome de las and Olaudah Equiano Slavery will forever remain a tragically horrific stain in American history not only because of the actual act of enslavement, but the treatment of the salves. Slaves were largely of Native American and African descent. The accounts of Bartolome de las Casas and Olaudah Equiano provide two uniquely different viewpoints on their experience