From BBC Earth's Arj Singh:
You could say it is the best of times and the worst of times for the herbivores of the Serengeti.
The arrival of the rains in the south is a precursor to one of the world's largest migrations.
One and a half million animals, including wildebeest, buffalo, gazelles and zebras, come together to take advantage of the bountiful food in the fast-growing lush grasses.
[You can see all sorts of videos and images of other migrating animals including humpback whales, Monarch butterflies and more over on our Facebook page, where you can also enter a photo competition and win DVDs.]
But the rains also mark a time of plenty for the predators who stalk them. The likes of cheetahs, hyenas and lions can find food in abundance in the large gatherings of grazers. Animals such as the wildebeest can travel some 500 miles, sometimes crossing massive obstacles such as the Mara River. They tend to travel in herds and they use these to defend themselves.
They are strong enough to injure a lion, if they get the chance, and so usually the small, weak or stray animals are the most vulnerable. While the wildebeest may be able to run at 40mph, they won’t escape a cheetah over the first few hundred meters. The world’s fastest land animal can do 0-64mph in four seconds; that’s faster than most supercars.
But if the wildebeest can hold on for long enough, they will be okay. While great sprinters, cheetahs are no long distance runners. Zebras have a defense against lions too. It may seem ridiculous, but their stripes are ideal camouflage for grass, since lions are color-blind. They can appear simply as part of long grass, or even as one big animal making it difficult for lions to pick out an attack. It doesn’t always work out though…
Even if the lions get their kill, they have to watch out for scavenging hyenas that can often steal their dead prey. Hyenas hunt efficiently and cooperatively and can even challenge lions by mobbing them with greater numbers.
[Check out the interactive Life Is website for more amazing animal stories and BBCEarth.com for rare behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the BBC crew.]