Desert Biome Facts

Desert Biome Facts
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 desert in this biome - hot and dry, semiarid, coastal, and cold. They are all able to inhabit plant and animal life that are able to survive there.
Interesting Desert Biome Facts:
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.

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