Home to a vast array of plant and animal species – grasslands make up one-quarter of the Earth's land.
From the sweltering heat of the African Serengeti, to the rolling plains of the North American prairies, grasslands are found on every continent except Antarctica.
They are found predominantly in the central belt of Africa, Central Asia and North America. They are also found in the southern hemisphere in places including South America and Australia.
Tropical grasslands – also known as savannahs – are affected by two distinct seasons: severe winter drought and a wet summer growing season.
Savannah temperatures remain stable throughout the year.
In temperate grasslands, summer temperatures can reach highs of 38 degrees centigrade and lows of minus 40 degrees centigrade in the winter.
Temperate grasslands also receive significantly less annual rainfall.
Grasses are dominant vegetation
Seasonal variation in temperature
Lower annual rainfall
North American Prairie
The North American prairie, the most recognisable of temperate grasslands, is the home of the herd. The year-round availability of grass ensures a plentiful food supply for its animal inhabitants.
Lack of adequate tree and bush cover means that predators and prey have few places to hide.
Hawks have to nest on the ground, allowing prey to see these hunters for miles around.
60 million bison once inhabited the North American prairie, but numbers were decimated by hunting and habitat loss.
This iconic species was brought back from the brink of extinction, and once again forms part of the rich diversity of life across the North American prairies.