The Desert Biome is an ecosystem that forms due to the low level of rainfall it receives each year. Deserts cover about 20% of the Earth. There are four major types of the desert in this biome – hot and dry, semiarid, coastal, and cold. They are all able to inhibit plant and animal life that are able to survive there.
Desert Biome Location
Deserts Biome approximately concealment about one-fifth of Earth’s total surface and ensure where rainfall is less than 50 cm per Year. While various desert Biome, like Sahara of North Africa and deserts of the Southwestern United States, Mexico, and Australia, ensure at squat Latitudes. Additional cold desert Biome located in the Utah and Nevada of Western Asia.
Desert Biome Climate
The climate of desert Biome is very hot and dry. Deserts are generally situated in areas near the Equator. Various deserts are a collection of unfertile land and with sand which covers thousands of miles.
Desert Biome Temperature
The Desert temperature can fluctuate extremely from day to night because at night heat escapes rapidly due to fast moving air. The temperature of desert Biome is averaged 38°C while in some deserts it can get down to -4°C at night. The temperature also varies greatly depending on the location of the desert.
Desert Animals and Plants
Desert Biome Animals
- There are plenty of insects in the desert. One of the most common and destructive pests is the Locust. A locust is a special type of grasshopper. They travel from place to place, intake of all the vegetation they notice. Locusts can destroy many crops in a single day.
- Not all desert insects are bad, though. The yucca moth is very important to the yucca plant because it carries pollen from the flower to the stigma.
- The darkling Ground Beetle includes an exhausting, white, wing case that reflects the Sun’s energy. This allows the bug to appear for food throughout the day.
- There also are many species of ants within the desert.
- The Harvester Ants gather seeds and store them to be used throughout the time of year.
- Honey pot ants have a really weird habit. Some members of the colony eat large amounts of sugar, so much that their abdomens get too large for them to move. The rest of the colony feeds off this sugar.
- Spiders are the foremost notable Arachnids, but scorpions also belong in this group.
- Some species of scorpions have poison in their sharptails. They sting their predators and their prey with the piercing tip.
- Reptiles are a number of the foremost fascinating creatures of the desert.
- Reptiles can withstand the extreme temperatures because they can control their body temperatures very easily. You can put most of the desert reptiles into one of two categories: snakes and lizards.
- Many species of rattlesnakes may be found within the desert. Rattlesnakes have a loud rattle they use to warn enemies to remain away. If the predator isn’t careful, the rattlesnake will strike, injecting venom with its sharp fangs. Other desert snakes include the cobra, king snake and the hognose.
- Lizards conjure the second class of desert reptiles.
- They are most likely the foremost eccentric wanting animals within the desert.
- While some change colors and have sharp scales for defense, others change their appearance to look more threatening.
- One such creature is the frilled hazard. When enemies are near, the lizard opens its mouth, unveiling a wide frill. This makes the hazard look bigger and scarier. The shingle back has a tail with the same shape as its head.
- When a predator bites at the tail, the shingle back turns around and bites back.
- There are only two venomous lizards in the world, and one of them is the Gila monster. It has a very painful bite.
- Like the different inhabitants of the desert, birds come up with interesting ways to survive in the harsh climate.
- The sand grouse has special feathers that soak up water. It can then carry the water to its young trapped in the nest.
- Other birds, just like the Gila River Piciform bird, depend on the giant saguaro as its home. This woodpecker hollows out a hole in the cactus for a nest.
- The cool, damp within is safe for the babies.
- The Geococcyx Californianus is maybe the most renowned desert bird.
- Roadrunners are so named because they prefer to run rather than fly. Ostriches also prefer to use their feet.
- Even the young depend upon walking to search out food and water. The Galah is one of the prettiest desert birds. It is one amongst the few species that come to identical next year once a year.
- Galahs are interesting birds, in that the number of eggs they lay depends on the climate. If the desert is in a drought, they don’t lay any however, throughout additional tolerable years, the galah may lay as many as five eggs.
- There are many species of mammals within the desert. They range in size from a number of inches to many feet long. Like different desert life, mammals have to find ways to stay cool and drink plenty of water.
- Many desert mammals are burrowers. They dig holes in the ground and stay there during the hot days. They return to the surface at night to feed. Hamsters, rats and their relatives are all borrowers. Not solely do the burrows keep the animals cool, they are also a great place to store food. Of course, not all animals have in holes in the ground.
- The pouched mammal and barbellate anteater each sleep in the desert region.
- Spiny Anteaters are uncommon mammals as a result of they lay eggs.
- The desert is additionally choked with wild horses, foxes, and jackals, which are part of the canine family.
- And we can’t forget the cats. Lions are found all over the deserts of southern Africa. They get their water from the blood of their prey.
Camels – The Cars of the Desert:
Camels could be included in the mammal section. Camels are the cars of the desert. Without them, people would have great difficulty crossing the hot terrain. There are two types of camels: Bactrian and Dromedary.
The main difference between the two is the number of humps.
- Dromedaries have one hump, and Bactrian have two. Both kinds are used by people, but only Bactrian’s are found in the wild.
- Camels are great for transportation because they use little water.
- Camels can withstand very high temperatures without sweating.
- They conjointly store fat in their humps for food.
- If a Camelus Bactrianus travels an extended distance while not ingestion, its hump can really get smaller.
Desert Biome Plants:
The plants found in deserts are highly specialized plants which have reduced leaves and thick cuticles to prevent water loss. Common plant species of these deserts are:
Cacti, Turpentine Bush, Brittlebush, Prickly Pears, Yuccas and Ocotillo.
Like the hot and dry deserts, the plants here are highly specialized in conserving water. They have reduced leaves known as spines and thick cuticles.
Common plants found here are:
White Thorn, Cat Claw, Brittle Bushes, Mesquite, and Jujube.
The plants in Coastal desert apart from having thick leaves and stems have an extensive root system which draws maximum water whenever there is rainfall.
The stems of these plants can store a large amount of water for later use. Examples are:
Salt Bush, Buck Wheat Bush, Ricegrass, and Black sage and little Leaf Horse Bush.
Desert Biome Characteristics:
- Although the daytime temperatures of the desert biome are very hot, they can get very cold at night.
- The Sahara Desert is the largest desert in the desert biome. It covers over 300 million square miles.
- The vegetation does not grow very tall so the desert biome can only accommodate small animals, rodents, and reptiles. These animals can escape the harsh Sun by hiding under small scrubs or hiding in burrows.
- Many desert animals tend to be nocturnal, sleeping during the day and coming out at night when the temperatures are more tolerable.
- Because there is hardly any standing water in the desert biome, animals either store water in their bodies or get their water needs met by the foods they eat.
- Dust storms occur when the wind picks up dust from the surface. These storms can be up to 1 mile high and travel over a hundred miles.
- The plants that are able to grow in the desert biome store water in their stem. They normally grow spaced out so that their roots can extend and find water.
- Some deserts are so hot that when it rains, the water evaporates in the air before ever hitting the ground.
- There are some deserts in Antarctica that are known as cold deserts. They are considered deserts because of the small amount of vegetation that grows there.
- The driest desert on Earth receives on average 1 centimeter of rainfall every 5 to 20 years.
- Because body fat retains heat, most desert animals have an adaptation that allows them to store all their body fat in one area of their body. The camel stores all its body fat in its hump.
- Cacti have many adaptions to survive in the desert. Their spines protect them from being eaten by animals and their waxy outer covering keeps moisture from escaping.
- Cold deserts (like in Antarctica) have very little plants and grasses. The ones they do have only grow during the summer.
- The desert biome is actually a big tourist attraction. People enjoy rock climbing, dirt biking, and hiking in the desert.
- The desert biome can be found on every continent except Europe.