Deserts What is a desert?

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What is a desert?

  • The desert is a land of extremes: extreme heat and extreme dryness; sudden flash floods and cold nights. Because deserts are such a difficult places to live in they often have names likes "Death Valley," "the empty quarter," and "the place from where there is no return."

How dry is a desert?

Is it always hot in a desert?

Types of desert

  • Believe it or not, deserts come in two varieties: hot and cold.
  • The Antarctic is actually the Earth’s largest desert. The main form of precipitation in a cold desert is snow -- but only ten inches or less per year.
  • The Sahara is the largest hot desert. These are covered in sand and rock.

Can any plants grow in a desert?

  • Deserts are the home to many living things.
  • Plants that grow in a desert have to be especially adapted to the dry conditions. They must be able to: collect and store water  and reduce water loss.
  • Desert plants look quite different to plant that grow in other places.

Which animals live in the desert?

Some of the animals that live in the desert.

  • The fat sand rat overcomes the problem of the unpredictability of desert food supplies by laying down a thick layer of fat all over its body when there is plenty of food It then lives off this fat when food is short. Active day and night, this gerbil darts about collecting seeds which it carries back to its burrow. 
  • A sidewinder is a small agile snake. It is mainly nocturnal and takes shelters from the heat of the day in the burrow of another animal or under a bush.

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