Welcome to the desert biome.
A desert gets very little rain each year – less than 50 cm each year! They can be very hot in the daytime and cold at night, but some deserts are cold all the time.
Because deserts have very extreme temperatures, animals that live there need adaptations to help them to survive. Let’s take a look at some of these animals.
Look over there – it’s a Gila monster which can be found in North America. They are pink, orange and red and have patterns on them that send out a warning to predators that they are venomous. This reduces the number of animals that will hunt it and help keep it safe.
Another North American desert animal is the Coyote. Its tan coat is mixed with rusty brown and gray which helps it to move around without being easily noticed. This helps when they hunt rabbits, rodents, antelope, goats, sheep and other animals.
Here is a Thorny Devil lizard that could be found in Western Australia! It’s body can change from yellow to reddish brown and then to black depending on which type of soil it is crossing. This camouflage makes it easy for the lizards to hide!
Now lets look at some plants.
We couldn’t come to a desert without thinking about a cactus. Here’s a Barrel cactus that can be found in North America. This plant needs very little water, which makes the desert a perfect growing area. It’s dangerously sharp spines keep discourage big animals from making this plant dinner.
Believe it or not, this tree-like plant is also a cactus. It’s called a Chain fruit Cholla and is also covered in spines. The spines have a sheath on them that reflect sunlight to prevent the tree from getting too hot. Amazingly, the Chain Fruit Cholla can grow up to 15 feet tall and 6 feet wide!
And the last stop on today’s tour is the Joshua Tree. A neat feature of the Joshua tree is that it has two sets of root systems. One stores any surplus water, which helps to make sure the tree has enough water to survive. This tree also has a spiny leaf that is turned upwards in hopes that it will catch moisture in the air that can be stored as water in the limbs and trunk.
Thanks so much for taking this tour with me! Enjoy the next stop on your biome adventure!