Grasses also characterize steppes and savannas, where they form scattered tufts.
On the east, the main cordillera abuts upon the region of plateaus and savannas, which occupies nearly half of the area of Nicaragua.
It is extensively distributed in the tropical parts of South and Central America, frequenting low swampy savannas, along the banks of rivers, and the depths of the humid forests, but is nowhere abundant.
In the savannas the most characteristic trees are the monkey bread tree or baobab (Adansonia digitata), doom palm (Hyphaene) and euphorbias.
The open savannas are the home of large ungulates, especially antelopes, the giraffe (peculiar to Africa), zebra, buffalo, wild ass and four species of rhinoceros; and of carnivores, such as the lion, leopard, hyaena, &c. The okapi (a genus restricted to Africa) is found only in the dense forests of the Congo basin.