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All About Sahara Desert
   
3106-31_04A_LRG by Newport Geographic on Flickr

The desert biome is an ecosystem that forms due to the low level of rainfall it receives each year. Deserts cover about 20% of the Earth. 


Sahara desert is located on the continent of Africa; it takes up most of North Africa.

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Dromedary Camel (camelus dromedarius) by Gregory Moine on Flickr

Life in Sahara desert is very harsh. Here are some animals that have adapted to the desert life.


This is a Dromedary Camel. 

  • It has only one hump on its back, they can be up to six foot six inches tall and weigh up to thirteen hundred pounds.

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Addax by Just chaos on Flickr

This is an Addax Antelope

  • They are well adapted to the desert life.
  •  They can go without water for very long periods of time. 
  • The Addax is on the critically endangered species.

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Grand Gazelle by Robbert van der Steeg on Flickr

This is Grand Gazelle

  • It can grow to be thirty seven inches to the shoulder blades in height and weigh between one hundred ten pounds to one hundred eighty pounds. 
  • They can run up to sixty miles per hour.

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IMG_1388 by fpc40 on Flickr

This is a Horned Viper, a very dangerous snake. 

  • The Horned Viper is known to be ill tempered, their venom is a Cytotoxin. 
  • They usually release small amounts of venom into prey.

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Monitor Lizard by twoblueday on Flickr

This is a Monitor Lizard

  • They can grow up to nine feet long and weigh up to fifty pounds.

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Saguaro by kevin dooley on Flickr

This picture of the Saguaro Cactus

  • It can grow up to seventy feet high. 
  • They bloom white and yellow flowers.

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Joshua Tree by laszlo-photo on Flickr

This is a Joshua tree.

  • They can grow three inches per year for the first ten years of life, and then slow down to about an inch year after. 
  • People use to make shoe and baskets from the leaves of the tree.

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Cocklebur by nathanmac87 on Flickr

This is the Cocklebur

  • It grows between twenty and forty inches tall. 
  • It is a very thorny plant. 
  • It is very poisonous to livestock, if consumed it will make the animal very sick and lead to death for the animal.

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Old Cottonwood Tree by David~O on Flickr

The Cottonwood tree can reach heights of forty feet. 

  • They usually grow around the watering holes in the desert. 
  • The animals use the tree for shade from the sun.

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Jojoba by SonoranDesertNPS on Flickr

The Jojoba plants grow between three and six feet tall. 

  • The fruit that is produced is what the rodents, rabbits, insects eat in the desert. 
  • It is also used by humans in the making of oils and cosmetics.

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Shattuck_52590, Myrmoteras, Danum Valley, Sabah-web by SouthernAnts on Flickr

Desert Food Chain   

 

Food chain starts with the jojoba plant. Ants like the one in this picture will eat the berries that fall from the plant.
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Sunny Position by Orin Zebest on Flickr

This is a Horned Lizard that is native to the Sahara desert. It’s main meal is insects, like the ant in the picture before.

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Ferruginous Hawk 004 by contemplicity on Flickr

This is a picture of a Hawk that lives in the desert. It feeds mostly on rodents and reptiles like the horned lizard we just saw.

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Momma coyote by E. E. Piphanies on Flickr

Finally we have a Coyote, it feeds on all the above, but it prefers live kills such as the hawk in the previous picture. Coyotes are very skilled and patient hunters.

 

In the desert, food is a very important life or death item. You have producers such as the jojoba plant, you also have some animals that are producers and consumers such as the horned lizard, hawk. Also we have animals that are mostly consumers such as the coyote, but in the desert even the consumer can become the producer.

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Richat Structure - Sahara Desert, Ouadane, Mauritania by Trodel on Flickr

Animals and their adaptation

    One way that animals such as mammals and reptiles have adapted to the desert is that they live in burrows to escape the deadly heat of the day in the desert. Most of the animals in my biome are nocturnal, because it is to hot for them to hunt in the daytime. Lots of the animals have learned to slow their metabolism down so that they can conserve water and energy. Some have learned a process called dissipation; this process is when the animal uses it's on body to release heat. For example, the jack rabbit of the Sahara has very large ears the has numerous blood vessels that allows excess heat to escape it's body, which is very important to the life of the rabbit.

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Sahara Desert by wonker on Flickr

Interesting Facts 

  • The Sahara desert is the second largest desert in the world, but the largest hot desert in the world. 
  • It has sand dunes that are five hundred and eighty feet tall. 
  • Arabic is the most used language in the desert. 
  • The desert can be very hot during the day and get very cold at night. 
  • It is over three million square miles in size, just about the same size of the United States of America.

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Sahara Desert by wonker on Flickr

Weather patterns
 

  The Sahara desert is mostly very hot and dry. It usually gets less than five inches of rain a year; it's not uncommon for it to go without rain for several years. The rainy season is from December to march, but to date the heaviest rain falls in august. The only time that snow was recorded here, was in the year 1979.

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P1030312 by cliffwilliams on Flickr

Desert Landscape                        

 

     Landscape is mostly flat and sandy. As you can see lots of sand, also you can see the dunes that have been made from years of winds. The highest peak in the Sahara desert is called Emi Koussi, it is eleven thousand feet tall.

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