Deserts are dry areas that experience extremely small amounts of rainfall. They can be either cold or hot. Deserts are determined by low amounts of rainfall, not temperature. They typically receive less than 30 cm of rain per year. The driest deserts often receive less than 2 cm of rain per year. Temperatures in the desert are extreme. Because of the lack of moisture in the air, heat quickly dissipates as the sun sets. In hot deserts, the temperatures can range from above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the day to below 32 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Cold deserts generally receive more rainfall than do hot deserts. In cold deserts, temperatures in winter range between 32-39 degrees Fahrenheit with occasional snowfall.
Some locations of Cold Desert
Some locations of Hot Desert
West Coast of South America
Deserts are home to many burrowing animals. These animals include badgers, jack rabbits, toads, lizards, snakes and Kangaroo rats. Other animals include coyotes, foxes, owls, eagles, skunks, spiders and various kinds of insects. Many desert animals are nocturnal. They burrow underground to escape the extreme high temperatures in the day and come out at night to feed. This allows them to conserve water and energy. Other adaptations to desert life include light colour fur that can reflect sunlight. Some insects and amphibians adapt to their conditions by burrowing underground and remaining dormant until water is more plentiful.
Due to very dry conditions and poor soil quality in the desert only a small number of plants can survive. Desert plants have many adaptations for life in the desert. In very hot and dry deserts, plants such as cacti 🌵 have thin needle-like leaves to reduce water loss. Plants in coastal desert regions have broad thick leaves or large root systems to absorb and retain large amounts of water a few examples of desert plants include cacti 🌵, Yuccas, buckwheat bushes, black bushes, prickly pears and false mesquites.
The Sand storm occurs when a heavy wind starts blowing up a sand dune. Sand storm appears like a tidal wave similar to that in tsunamis. The height of these waves can be up to 100ft high or more.
An oasis is a fertile spot in the middle of a desert, an island of life in an ocean of temperature extremes. Any oasis always contains one or more springs. Oasis make it possible to survive long treks through the desert. In large desert such as the Sahara, towns cluster around sources of water such as oasis and rivers. Deserts consist of many millions of tons of sand which can be moved by strong force of the wind. A severe storm is capable of moving as much as 100 million tons of sand and dust. In certain areas where large quantities of sand are moved by storms, erosion burrows all the way down to the water table, putting it just beneath the surface. Seeds planted in the ground there are capable of sprouting and extending roots into the moist land, producing an oasis.
Amazing facts about Deserts
The Gobi Desert in Asia is Cold for most of the years.
Mountains on the edge of deserts prevent rain from entering. The rain stays on the other side of the mountain creating rain forests next to many deserts. These deserts are called rain shadows.
The world’s deserts are growing through desertification. This happens when grasslands that border the desert become as dry as desert. Desertification can also be caused by intense farming.
Deserts are second only to tropical rain forests in the variety of plants and animals that live there.
The Desert Tortoise 🐢 is able to live where ground temperature may exceed 140°F.
95% of a Desert Tortoise’s life is spent in underground burrows.
Ravens have caused more than 50% of juvenile Desert Tortoise deaths in some areas of the Mojave Desert.
Adult tortoises may survive a years or more without access to water.
Desert Tortoise populations have declined by 90% since the 1980s.
Ravens are now one of the Desert turtle’s comes from moisture in the grasses and wild flowers they consume in the spring.
It is unlawful to touch, harm, harass or collect a wild Desert Tortoise.
Roadrunners prefer walking or running and attain speeds up to 17 miles per hour.
“Every one desires to live long, but no one would be old” by Abraham Lincoln.