Desert Home: By Richard W. , Kylie H. , and Mounir J.

Many think the desert is a harsh, uninhabitable place. However, that is not true. It is home to many flora and fauna, and covers a decent amount of the world. There are two different kinds of desert. They are actually very far apart in terms of climate. One is very hot and sandy, while the other is extremely cold and rocky. In the desert, the climate is extreme. During the day, the blaring sun is awful. During the night, the cold gusts are deadly. That is why many people assume the desert is harsh and dangerous. The desert has on average less than 25 cm of rain each year. Some years the desert does not have any rain at all. Still, the desert is an amazing place.
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Gobi desert






Deserts of the World:

There are many places on Earth that are desert. In North America, some of the most famous include Death Valley in Arizona, the Sonoran Desert in the Northern part of Arizona, and the Southern part of California, and lastly is the Mojave Desert lying between the Great Basin and the Sonoran Deserts. These deserts include a large variety of plants like the Saguaro Cactus. The arid Death Valley holds the highest North American temperature of 134 degrees F. There are 22 deserts located on Earth. The largest is the Sahara Desert located in Northern Africa. Deserts farther away from the equator tend to be less arid (semi-arid). Fun Fact: Deserts cover 1/3 of the land on Earth!
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Death Valley


Climate:

Most deserts are hot,dry, and arid. The temperatures usually range from 105 to 110 degrees F. Extremely arid deserts almost never recieve rain. Other less extreme deserts could recieve about 17 inches. Yearly average though is about 25 centimeters. Droughts are also very common among deserts which is why plant life is scarce. Only plants who can live long without water and have roots that can dig deep into the hard rock soil can live in this hazardous biome. Fun Fact: The Atacama Desert in Chile holds the world's longest drought of 400 years!
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Desert

Camels are one of the animals who can live in this dry, arid land. Why? Well, camels as most know, have humps on their back. These humps store water for the camel for long periods of time, therefore, when the camel is thirsty, it simply takes a small amount of water from its "storage" area!!!

Kingdoms:

A desert is considered an extreme environment. As a result many organisms have a difficult time existing in the desert. Although this is a true statement, limited organisms do survive in this environment because they have adapted to the extreme heat or cold and very limited water. All five kingdoms are represented in the desert. (Animal, Plant, Fungi, Protist, and Bacteria) All five kingdoms of organisms have what scientist call "thick skin". This adaptation helps all desert organisms to live within the extreme conditions. Animals and Plants were easy to find for the desert. Animals have adapted to the desert by becoming nocturnal, dissipating the heat, and retaining the water they do have. The animals tend to either hibernate during extreme heat or sleep during the hottest parts of the day. The animal's bodies have adapted to little water by either burrowing into moist soil during the day or retrieving water from the food they eat. Most animals can only go 1-2 days without water. Below, there is a picture of a songbird, or phainopepla.
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a songbird


The real challenge was finding Protists, Bacteria, and Fungi. There is a very minimal amount of those kindoms in the desert. (obviously making it difficult to find them!) Plants adapt to the desert climate in many different ways. Plants have developed three strategies to help adapt to the extreme desert climate: drought tolerance, drought avoidance, and succlence. (Succulence is when plants store water in fleshy leaves, stems, and roots.) Large numbers of native desert plants are hosts to fungi and neither would survive without each other. The roots of the plants provide essential nutrients for the growth of the fungi. In return, the fungi acts as a virtual root system for the plants, increasing the amount of water and nutrients that the plant may obtain from the surrounding soil. Scientists have discovered in the last 50 years the existence of protists and bacteria in the soil of deserts. Without the use of water, many of these organisms tend to be very slow at multiplying but have adapted with the use of radiation.
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