The Desert Biome

Sahara Desert, Africa.

What is a desert?

Have you ever been to a desert? Well, if you havent, let me tell you about what a desert is. A desert is a biome that recieves very little rain, which makes is extremely difficult to support animal and plant life. Both plants and animals in these enviroments need special adaptations in order to survive.

Travel info

The country we have decided to research is north Africa. The reason to this is because the Sahara desert lies here. Transportation here mostly relies on camels, but traveling by bus is becoming popular. Suprisingly, there are plenty of food sources in deserts like these. A majority of the cactus can be eaten, along with exotic fruits that come from an oasis. There are some animals to hunt, like wild gazelles and birds. In trips to places like these, there is specific equipment needed to survive in these conditions. For example, you will need:

-Winter clothing. At night, the temperature drops drastically.

-Backpack. You'll need this to carry water and other supplies needed.

-Good walking shoes. You will be walking a lot when you're here.

-Food and water for the first and second day.

-Travel flashlight.


Weather and Environment

The Sahara's landscape is composed of the iconic sand dunes with dry mountains and plateaus. Due to it's severe dry climate, it has two rivers, along with a couple lakes. Otherwise, the Sahara has a substantial amount of aquifers. Because of the dry climate, the enviroment is extremely affected. Species evolve and develop adaptations, along with strategies to beat the heat. Water is very limited, so animals and plants like camels and cacti have evolved to hold more water for longer periods.

Endangered species

The Sahara desert has some endangered animals, those being the sahara cheetah and the addax antelope. The addax antelope has an estimate of 500 species left in the sahara desert. Their endangered because of poachers and global warming. There are less than 250 sahara cheetahs today, also from poaching.

Ecology

Ecology is quite different in the desert biome. Rather than competing for sunlight, plants try to adapt themselves so that they get less sunlight. Most animals in deserts are carnivals, because it becomes difficult to graze and eat plants like cacti. An example of a predator-prey relationship is between the tarantula and the tarantula hawk wasp. The jackrabbit and the desert coyote could be another example. There are a whole lot of limiting factors in desert biomes. First, there's the temperature. It gets too hot during the day for organisms and it sometimes will get too cold at night. There's also little precipitation, which forces species to adapt/evolve in order to be able to store water and use less of it. There are some ways that us humans could be/ already be impacting the ecosystems of the desert. For example, plants could be destroyed and soil could be polluted when traveled on by vehicles, such as trucks and bikes. There is also some who hunt for animals, which decreases population and messes up the food chain.