|by Newport Geographic on Flickr
biome located in the northern part of Africa.
- Second largest desert in the world.
- Contains rocky plateaus, gravel covered plains and shifting sand dunes. Has little vegetation.
- Very little rainfall - under 5 inches per year on an average
- Very hot during day and very cold during night
- Has sand dunes that are 580 feet tall.
|Mojave Desert at Dusk
|by Rennett Stowe on Flickr
Animals such as mammals and reptiles have adapted to the desert habitat.
- They live in burrows to escape the deadly heat of the day.
- Most of the animals are nocturnal, since it is too hot for them to hunt in the daytime.
- Lots of animals have learned to slow down their metabolism so that they can conserve water and energy.
- Some have learned a process called Dissipation i.e when an animal uses it's own body to release heat e.g. Jack Rabbit has very large ears that have numerous blood vessels to allow excess heat to escape it's body
|Dromedary Camel (camelus dromedarius)
|by Gregory Moine on Flickr
Here are some animals that have adapted to the desert life:
- This is a dromedary camel
- It has only one hump on its back
- Can be up to six foot six inches tall
- Weigh up to 1300 pounds.
This is a addax antelope
- Critically endangered species.
- Can go without water for very long periods of time.
|by Robbert van der Steeg on Flickr
This a grand gazelle.
- Can grow to be 37 inches to the shoulder blades in height
- Weigh between 110 pounds to 180 pounds.
- they can run up to sixty miles per hour.
This is a horned viper
- Avery dangerous snake.
- Horned viper is known to be ill tempered, their venom is a cytotoxin, they usually release small amounts of venom into prey.
|by twoblueday on Flickr
This is a monitor lizard
- They can grow up to 9 feet long
- Weigh up to 50 pounds.
|by kevin dooley on Flickr
This is saguaro cactus
- It can grow up to 70 feet high.
- They bloom white and yellow flowers.
|by laszlo-photo on Flickr
This is a Joshua tree
- They can grow 3 inches per year for the first ten years of life, then slow down to about a inch year after.
- People make shoes and baskets from the leaves of the tree.
|by nathanmac87 on Flickr
This is the cocklebur
- It grows between 20 and 40 inches tall.
- They are very thorny plants.
- It is very poisonous to livestock
- If consumed, it will make the animal very sick and lead to death for the animal.
|Old Cottonwood Tree
|by David~O on Flickr
Cottonwood tree can reach heights of 40 feet
- They usually grow around the watering holes in the desert
- Animals use the tree for shade from the sun.
|by SonoranDesertNPS on Flickr
Jojoba plant grows between 3 and 6 feet tall.
- The fruit that it produces is what the rodents, rabbits,insects eat in the desert
- It is also used by humans in the making of oils and cosmetics.
|Shattuck_52590, Myrmoteras, Danum Valley, Sabah-web
|by SouthernAnts on Flickr
DESERT FOOD CHAIN
Ants eat the berries that fall from the jojoba plant.
|by Orin Zebest on Flickr
- This is a horned lizard, that is native to the Sahara desert
- Its main meal is insects, like the ant in the picture before.
|Ferruginous Hawk 004
|by contemplicity on Flickr
- This is the picture of a hawk, that lives in the desert.
- It feeds mostly on rodents and reptiles like the horned lizard we just saw.
|by E. E. Piphanies on Flickr
- Finally we have a coyote. although it feeds on all of the above, it prefers live kills such as the hawk in the previous picture.
- Coyote's are very skilled and patient hunters.