Desert Biome

By Cara McCavey

Vitals of Desert Biomes

The desert is made up of about 20% of Earth's land. It's located near the Tropic of Cancer, and the Tropic of Capricorn. The desert is extreamly hot and dry. Making it hard for animals and plants to live. There is little rain, making it a higher risk of a drought. Not many animals not vegetation are found in the desert. The desert can get up to 43.5 to 49° C. This biome has very little rain, getting no more than 10 inches a year. Its super hot during the day, but it cools off during the night, which is when the animals come out.

The climate of Desert Biomes

The desert during the day is hot, but during the night, it gets cooler, and not as hot. With the changing temperatures, it makes it difficult to keep a steady enviornment for the animals to live in. This biome has very little or no rainfall. The yearly rainfall for hot and cold deserts is about 15 - 26 cm a year. The average temperature is 43.5 to 49° C. During the day, it is 113°F, and 32°F at night. The desert is fairly warm during the seasons of fall and spring. During the summer, it gets very hot. In the winter time, it's lucky to get any rainfall, and sometimes no rain. They do get some snow in the cold deserts. At the end of the summer, and the start of spring, the temperature gets just right so some grass and moss to grow.

Plant Life

There's not much vegetation found in the desert. The plants that are found are usually low to the ground plants. Like shrubs and bushes and short woody trees. One of the most well known plant that can survive in the desert and is found in many places is the cactus. It is prickly and spiky to keep the animals from drinking its water and killing the plant. It also reflects the sun's rays from having it evaporate the water. They adapt to the climate by storing water inside of it. The Brittle Bush is like a cactus. It has a hairy layer to absorbe moisture in the air. Therefore, it can withstand the heat by trapping the moisture. The Palo Verde adapts to the enviornment by using photosynthesis. They shed some of their branches and become smaller plants. The Ironwoods are the one of the taller plants found in the desert. Specifically the Sonoran Desert. They are part of the pea plant family. They live long(1,500 years), start out as a small plant, and gradually gets larger(up to 30 feet in height), and it conservs water by shedding its leaves when it gets dry. The Joshua Tree is also a very tall plant, getting from 15-40 feet. The tree has a big impact on the other people and animals. They need the tree to survive. The root systems that the Joshual tree has is how it has the ability to survive in suvh heat. It stores water to survive.

Animals of the Desert

The animals have learned to control and adapt to the climate inorder to survive. Most of the animals that can be found in the desert are small because they don't eat as much as other animals. A lot of the animals are nocturnal, because its cooler at that time of day. The larger animals eat the other smaller animals. The smaller animals have to burrow underground to get away from the heat. A bobcat eats mainly rabbits, gohpers, fish, rats, mice, and squirrles. Their hunting ability helps catching their prey easier and faster. The bobcat likes shady areas because its too hot. They are very territorial. A tortise is good a making holes underground because of thier claws. THey dig deep enough holes for them to not get overheated or to cold. They spend a majority of thier lives underground. The Thorny Devil changes color like a chamealon to camoflage itself. Its the least aggressive animal of the desert animals. They can hide from predeators in bushes, When it gets scard or trying to protect itself, it rolls up into a ball with its spikey back pointing outward to protect itself from any animal harming it. They usually eat ants, one at a time though, but really fast. The T. Devil digs underground at night, to keep warm during the night, and to keep away from the heat. Pronghorn Antelopes have very good eye sight, seeing up to 4 miles away. They have this special thing they do to keep from being too hot. They raise patches of fur. The hairs keep them warm during the winter. Both genders have antlers. Banded Gila Monster is a venemous lizard. Their unique colors on thier back let the predetors know that they are venemous and to not bother them. They hunt during the day, but spends most of their time under ground. The desert plants compete for water and spacing for their root systems. The soil is also a compepetition because if a plant takes over an are and another plant comes, it might take over the area. A hawk, being the predator, eats a liazard, being the prey. Scorpians (predator), insects (prey).Hawk(predator), liazard(prey). A bobcat(predator), rabbit(prey).

Ecological Concerns

Desert bioms have a lack of water supply, which can lead to a drought. Animals that graze on the vegetation and other animals are a threat to the desert. Very high tempertures in the weather can increase the risk of a drought and wildfires. THe pottassium in gold miningis very harmful and posinus to the wildlife. The Thorny Devil is an endangered species in the desert. So is the Pronghorn Antelopes. The desert play a big role in the enviornemt, people and animals. The animals located inthe desert benefit us in other countries. Theres also the importance of minerals and vegetation. We use 75% of oil from the desert. Over 50 percent of world copper comes from deserts.