The Desert

A desert is an area that gets less than 10 inches of rain per year.

A desert is an area that gets less than 10 inches of rain per year.

A camel has adapted to survive in the hot desert.

A camel has adapted to survive in the hot desert.

    Biomes are areas on Earth with similar climates, animals, and plants. A desert biome is an area that gets very little rain - less than 10 inches in a year. This makes deserts very dry.

    Deserts are found on every continent on Earth. Some deserts are hot, like the Sahara Desert in Africa, and other deserts are cold. Antarctica is a desert because even though it is very cold, it doesn’t rain or snow there very often.

Very few plants and animals can survive in the desert.

Very few plants and animals can survive in the desert.

    A desert is a difficult place to live because there is very little water, but some plants and animals have adapted to live in these environments. For example, a cactus is able to collect and store water in the dry desert. First, it has no leaves because leaves lose a lot of water through evaporation. Second, a cactus can swell up when it is full of water and shrink back down when it does not have a lot of water. Finally, cactus roots spread out far away from the cactus to gather as much water from the ground as possible. These are all examples of how cacti have adapted to live in the desert.

Rodents in the desert are often nocturnal to avoid the hot sun.

Rodents in the desert are often nocturnal to avoid the hot sun.

    Some other organisms that have adapted to live in the desert are lizards, small rodents, snakes, and camels. Camels store extra water in their humps. Small rodents are nocturnal. This means they sleep during the day and are awake at night. Being nocturnal keeps the rodents out of the hot sun.

    A desert biome includes nonliving things as well as the living organisms. Examples of nonliving things include rocks, sand, sunlight, and water. These nonliving things are very important to the survival of the animals that live in the desert. For example, a snake can escape the hot Sun by hiding under a rock. Cacti and other plants live in the dirt of the desert. All living things need water to survive.

    All of the organisms in the desert have adapted to survive in that dry environment.