Deserts can be hot or cold. They have great extremes of temperature. It seems like nothing could survive the burning heat or the freezing cold. It is very rare for rain to fall in the desert. The hottest and largest desert is the Sahara Desert in North Africa. Temperatures there often reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit or even more! The one thing that all deserts have in common are that they are DRY.
The difference between hot, dry deserts and cold deserts are dry deserts get less than 10 inches of rain a year. Cold deserts are like polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctic.
Deserts are found in all seven continents. The seven continents are Antarctica, North America, South America, Australia, Europe, Asia, and Africa. All the deserts share some of these features: all deserts are empty, or bare, all deserts have mountains, valleys, and many flatlands.
Whenever there is a big rainstorm
in the desert, thousands of tiny shrimp eggs hatch. The eggs were left
in puddles from the rain. These eggs might lie in dried up puddles for
a long time. But when the puddles fill up with water they hatch again.
The shrimp mate and lay eggs before the water dries up. That's amazing!
Some of the animals which live in the desert are mice, rats, ground squirrels, rabbits, kit foxes, camels, and badgers. They sleep all day in holes and come out at night for food and water. Camels have pads on their feet to help it walk on the sand. When there is a sandstorm, it's nostrils and eyelids are able to close tightly to keep out sand. The camels lips and tongue are tough, so it can eat thorny or sharp trees. The reptiles in the desert are lizards, tortoises, and snakes. Those animals are cold blooded. That means their bodies stay the same temperature as their surroundings. Reptiles lie in sun taking in the heat. When they get too hot they cool off by climbing under a rock.
Some of the plants which live
in in the desert are trees, shrubs, grasses, weeds, and flowers. These
plants in a few different ways. Some push their roots very far in the ground.
They find streams underground or other water. Some plants might have roots
that go all over the place searching for water. Other plants like the cactus
are built to store water. It's wide roots can take lots of water in quickly.
Back to home To desert plant page To lizard page