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Page No 92:

Question A.1:

What is the location of the Prairies?


The Prairies are the grasslands that are located in the temperate region of North America spreading over Canada and the USA. They lie between the Rocky Mountains in the west and the Great Lakes and the Appalachian Highlands in the east. Canadian Prairies are located in the states of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario, whereas the Prairies in the USA are located in states of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

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Question A.2:

Name the rivers that drain the Prairies.


The major rivers that drain the Prairies are as follows:

(a) River Mississippi (USA)
(b)  River Missouri (USA)
(c)  River Ohio (USA)
(d)  River Dakota (USA)
(e)  River Saskatchewan (Canada)

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Question A.3:

Which factors favour agriculture in the Prairies?


The following factors favour agriculture in the Prairies:

  1.  Dark brown fertile soil, which is rich in organic matter, supports agriculture.
  2.  Rolling terrain and gentle slopes provide proper drainage and are suitable for mechanised agriculture.
  3.  Rains during spring and summer are good for crops. Melting snow also provides soil with moisture.

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Question A.4:

What is a combine harvester?


A combine harvester is a machine used in agriculture for commercial purposes. It performs the following functions:

  1.  It reaps the crops.
  2.  It threshes the grains.
  3.  It packs the grains in a sack.

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Question A.5:

Describe the wildlife of the Veld.


The wildlife in the Veld can be described by the following characteristic features:

  1. Prominent animals that are found in the Veld are lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, springboks, antelopes and oryxes.
  2. Birds found in this region include ostriches, quails and partridges.
  3. Hunting and poaching have greatly reduced the diversity of wildlife, and most species are facing the threat of extinction.

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Question A.6:

Which minerals are found in the Veld region?


The following minerals are found in the Veld region:

(a) Coal
(b) Gold
(c) Diamond
(d) Iron ore
(e) Uranium

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Question B.1:

Climate of the Prairies and of the Veld


The following distinctions can be made about the climate in the Prairies and the Veld:

Prairies Veld
Prairies have extreme climate due to their location in the interior of continent. Both diurnal and annual ranges of temperature are high. Veld has moderate climate owing to higher altitude and proximity to ocean on three sides.
Rainfall occurs mostly during spring and summer. Summers are short and rainfall is low with frequent droughts.
Snowfall occurs during winters. Local chinook wind from the Rockies tend to raise temperatures. Winters are long, cool and dry with occasional frost.

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Question B.2:

Animal rearing in the Prairies and in the Veld


Animal rearing in the Prairies and the Veld can be distinguished in the following ways:

Prairies Veld
Dairy cattle are raised for milk products and their farms are located near towns. Animal rearing includes cattle and sheep rearing.
Beef cattle are reared in isolated farms called ranches. These are situated near major highways and railway lines. Cattle rearing takes place in warmer and wetter eastern part. Sheep rearing takes place in the cooler western part.
Ranches are managed like factories, with departments and cowboys working in them. Both beef and sheep wool are exported along with leather.

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Question C.1:

Why are winds blowing in the Prairies very strong and gusty?


The following are the reasons for strong and gusty winds in the Prairies:

(a) The Prairies face the leeward side of the Rocky Mountains.
(b) The descending air from the Mountains is dry and light.
(c) The winds do not face any obstacles in the open grasslands and hence, the winds get violent and strong.

The local winds of this nature are known as chinook.

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Question C.2:

Why are most of the settlements in the Prairies located along roads and railway lines?


Most of the settlements in the Prairies are located along roads and railway lines due to the following reasons:

(a) The levelled land facilitates the construction of roads and railway lines.
(b) In the late nineteenth century, the construction of transcontinental railways like the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian National Railway attracted millions of people who settled near railway lines and roads in search of jobs.
(c) Economy is dependent on transport and communication, thereby, inducing people to settle near transport routes.

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Question C.3:

South Africa is a major producer and exporter of wool in the world.


South Africa is a major producer and exporter of wool in the world due to the following major reasons:

(a) The cooler and drier western part of the Veld grassland in South Africa is suitable for sheep rearing.
(b) The Merino sheep of the Veld produces finest quality of wool. Mohair is obtained from Angora goats.
(c) Sheep rearing is an important occupation of people in these areas. Hence, the production of wool is high and this makes South Africa a major exporter of wool in the world.

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Question C.4:

Agriculture in the Veld is not as important as in the Prairies.


Agriculture in the Veld is not as important as the Prairies due to the following factors in Velds:

(a) Prevalence of low rainfall and consequent drought conditions.
(b) Soil is not highly fertile, which further restricts agriculture.
(c) Availability of minerals reduces the dependency on agriculture.
(d) Animal rearing and export of animal products like meat and wool are major occupations of people in Velds.

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Question D.1:

Describe a cattle ranch in the Prairies.


Cattle ranches in the Prairies can be described in the following manner:

(a) These are large, isolated farms used for rearing of beef cattle and livestock. They are situated in Western and Southern Prairies.

(b) They function commercially as large factories.

(c) Ranches include all aspects of cattle rearing including fodder supply; thus, they are self-sufficient. Various activities that are carried out in the ranches include fodder cultivation, operating machines, providing water supply and medical facilities, beef production, transportation, etc.

(d) The activities that are performed by cowboys who live in the ranches include herding the cattle on horseback, driving them for pastures, etc. Animals are well recognised by their branding.

(e) The fattened cattle are taken to meat-packing centres. The largest of these centres is located in Chicago. Ranches are located near highways and railway lines for easier transportation. 

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Question D.2:

Give an account of wheat farming in the Prairies.


The following are features of wheat farming in the Prairies:

(a) Light rains in spring and summer are suitable for wheat cultivation. The rolling topography and organic soil also helps in wheat farming.

(b) The melting snow provides moisture to the soil.

(c) Wheat is cultivated during spring in Canada and during winters in the USA.

(d) Most of the cropping is done for commercial purpose. It is aided by large farmlands and open spaces provided by grasslands. It is also suitable for mechanisation of agriculture and application of scientific methods of farming.

(e) Thus the Prairies produce a huge quantity of wheat which is exported to Europe and Asia.

The region is known as the 'granary of the world' owing to the huge production of wheat.

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Question D.3:

Describe the physical environment of the Veld.


The physical environment of the Veld can be described by its following features:

(a) It is the temperate grassland of South Africa and is located on its Eastern plateau.

(b) The plateau on which the Veld is located descends in a series of steps.

(c) The height of Highveld is 1,200–1,800 metres with a ridge called Whitewater running in between.

(d) The height of Middleveld is 600–1,200 metres, while the Lowveld is located at a height of 150-600 metres.

(e) The major rivers that drain the Veld are Limpopo, Sabi and Orange.

(f) The climate is moderate due to presence of sea on three sides. Grasses and bushes comprise the natural vegetation of Veld.

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Question E.1:

The temperate grasslands in South America are called

a. Veld
b. Downs
c. Steppes
d. Pampas


The correct answer is option (d) Pampas.

Explanation: Grasslands are known by different local names. In South America, they are called pampas and are mainly found in Argentina.

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Question E.2:

A local warm wind in the Prairies is

a. Bora
b. Chinook
c. Mistral
d. Sirocco


The correct answer is option (b) Chinook.

Explanation: The local warm winds in the Prairies are known as Chinook. They blow from the Eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains and raise the temperature during winters.

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Question E.3:

An animal which has been recklessly hunted in the Prairies is

a. antelope
b. bison
c. coyote
d. dingo


The correct answer is option (b) bison.

Explanation: The American bison was an important animal of the Prairies at one point of time but its reckless hunting has widely reduced its number.

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Question E.4:

The world's biggest meat-packing centre is

a. Chicago
b. Omaha
c. Denver
d. Detroit


The correct answer is option (a) Chicago.

Explanation: Chicago in USA is the biggest meat-packing centre of the world. Most of the meat is sourced from animals reared on ranches in the prairies.

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Question E.5:

The sheep which yields the finest quality wool is

a. Angora
b. Jersey
c. Merino
d. Blackface


The correct answer is option (c) Merino.

Explanation: The wool obtained from Merino sheep, found in the Veld, is of the finest quality. South Africa has maintained top position in wool production and its export.

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Question E.6:

Which of the following cities in South Africa is famous for its diamond industry?

a. Pretoria
b. Durban
c. Cape Town
d. Kimberley


The correct answer is option (d) Kimberley.

Explanation: Kimberley, in South Africa, is famous for its diamond mines.

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Question F:

1. On an outline map of North America mark and label: Rocky Mountains, Great Lakes, Appalachian Highlands, Prairies, River Mississippi, Chicago and Winnipeg.

2. On an outline map of Africa and label: Drakensberg Mountains, Kalahari Desert, Veld, River Orange, River Limpopo, Johannesberg, Pretoria, Kimberley.


1) Map of North America

2) Map of Africa

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