Desert Facts


Animals: Some species of animals include the famous Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus), the Armadillo Lizard (Cordylus cataphractus), the Desert Bobcat (Felis rufus), the Desert Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), the Desert Coyote (Canis latrans), the Arabian Camel (Camelus dromedarius), and the Desert Cape Cobra (Naja nivea) just to name a few! Some insects could include the Desert Termite (Gnathamitermes tubiformans), which feeds on cacti and other desert plants. Another type of insect is the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria). A bird, or more specifically owl, is the Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy Owl. The scientific name is Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum. Yes, I know the name is quite a mouthful, but the actual owl is really quite small!
Gopher Tortoise
Gopher Tortoise
We also found an arachnid in the desert called the Desert Tarantula.

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Pygmy Owl

Plants: Some plant species include the Common Cactus (Glaucidius brasilianium cactorum), the Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus wislizeni), the Brittle Bush (Encelia farinosa), and the Chain Fruit Cholla (Opuntia fulgida). Believe it or not, there is a tree that grows in the desert. I have posted a picture of it below. It is called the Joshua Tree, and the scientific name is Yucca brevifolia. One parasite in the plant kingdom is the Desert Mistletoe. It lives on trees and takes away its nutrients. Eventually, the tree dies for lack of nutrition.
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Saguaros Cacti

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Joshua tree


Fungi: One of the types of Fungi is the Chaetomium or the Chaetomium tunicola. Another one is the Terricolous mycorhizal which is just another word for the desert Mushroom. The final type of fungi that we found is British Soldier Lichen (Cladonia cristatella). British Soldier Lichens are only one-fourth of an inch high or six millimeters but they are very helpful to the environment.


Desert Lichen Crust
Desert Lichen Crust
Omphalotus nidiformis (Ghost Fungus)
Omphalotus nidiformis (Ghost Fungus)




Protists: The British Soldier Lichen is said to be half protist, half fungi, therefore we are putting it as both. British Soldier Lichen's scientific name when in the Protist kingdom is Trebouxia erici. Three other protists are Eimeria falciformes, Eimeria nieschulzi, Eimeria indianensis. All three of those are parasites, they live off other animals. Further research may be required.

Bacteria: One kind of bacteria located in the Desert Biome is "Desert Varnish". Other rarer types could include Metallo genium, Pedo microbium, and two cyanobacterium called Chroococcidiopsis chroococcales, and finally Oscillatoria.

Predator Prey Relations
Some predator-prey relationships could include the coyote, which hunts various insects, lizards, and tortoises. Other predators include:

Cape Cobra: Hunts other snakes like the Mojave Rattlesnake, rodents like the Desert Rat (Dipodomys), birds and bird eggs, and some insects.
Bobcat: Hunts small reptiles like lizards, birds like the Pygmy Owl, The Big Horn Sheep, and some small insects. Even eats some grasses and fruit from cacti.
Raven (Corvidae aves) in the Animal Kingdom: Hunts small rodents, bird eggs, young birds, nuts, and some cacti berries and fruits.









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