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Adaptations of Animals and Plants to Life in Desert Environments.

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Introduction

´╗┐Hot Deserts Death Valley is a very good example of a desert as it represents what you will expect to find in terms of the environment, temperature and precipitation making it a good reliable case study. The temperature peaks at about July with the average temperature at a very high 38 degrees centigrade. As you would expect the temperature plummets during the winter around December January. The average temperature at this time is just 10-11 degrees centigrade. It is however reasonably hot for February and November averaging between 15-17 degrees centigrade. It is then reasonably stable temperature wise thought the year with temperatures averaging in the late 20?s and mid 30?s with the exception of July which you already know about and March with the average temperature of about 19 degrees centigrade. The average precipitation levels are fairly similar and stable throughout the year with it peaking just at 1.2mm in February and is at its lowest in early Summer June at just 0.1mm. ...read more.

Middle

Another very important adaption is the fact that it has Broad, flat, leathery pads at the bottom of their hooves so that the pads spread out when the camel places its feet on the ground thus creating a "snowshoe effect" and preventing the camel from sinking into the sand. Fennec Fox: 1. Their large ears, which are usually 6 inches long (15 centimetres), help dissipate excess body heat on hot days in the desert. 2. The fennec fox seems to be the only carnivore living in the Sahara Desert able to survive without free water. Their kidneys are adapted to restrict water loss, their extensive burrowing may cause the formation of dew, which can then be consumed, and they will receive moisture from the food that they eat. 3. Their burrowing and nocturnal lifestyle helps restrict water loss. 4. Their thick fur helps insulate them from the cold desert nights. 5. Their sandy fur helps to reflect heat, and also provides excellent camouflage. ...read more.

Conclusion

3.It also has a small hump above it?s heat to store water and fat reserves so it can go without food and water for longer. 4.The fourth and final adaptation is a defence mechanism. When a predator actually wants to try and consume the spiky lizard they will have a tough time finding its head. You see the thorny devil hides its real head and exposes a fake, spike-filled head which is located on their back. To give the predator a surprise to make it flee. A great basin sagebrush tap roots up to 25m long so they can get as much water as they can, as their roots can reach deep in to the ground to get to that water found deep in the ground . It also has needle like leaves to protect itself from any predator or animal danger. As the spiky leaves act as a deterrent. The spiky leaves not only scares animal away it helps to significantly reduce water loss which means it?s easier for the plant to survive. ...read more.

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