Desert Biome Essay

1229 words - 5 pages

Desert Biome
The desert biome is one of the most interesting biomes on earth. An area of land is considered a desert when it produces less than 10 inches of rainfall throughout the year. There are many different types of deserts in the world, with a very diverse group of plants and animals. It has temperatures that are generally hot during the day, and cold at night.
A desert is a region so arid due to little rainfall that it supports only sparse and widely spaced vegetation or no vegetation at all. There are many different types of deserts including Trade wind deserts, Midlatitude deserts, Rain shadow deserts, and many more. The largest trade wind desert is the Sahara desert that is ...view middle of the document...

The dry wind descends and the mountains become warmer and drier. This is another way deserts are formed. Lastly, deserts are formed from Ocean currents. Ocean currents often have little rainfall. This is another reason why deserts are very dry (Rice 176).
The Dominant plant in a desert biome is the Cacti. Cacti are the major succulents of North and South American deserts. In Africa, spurges and milkweeds are the dominant flora of African deserts. These plants look very similar to cacti. Desert shrubs are nearly found in every desert. The plants that survive in the desert have found many remarkable ways to live in this harsh environment. Desert succulents, such as the rock plants and cacti. These plants can survive dry spells by accumulating moisture in the tissues. Also, these plants have shallow roots that capture soil water only a couple of hours after it rains. Another way plants survive in the extreme conditions of the desert are from the drought survival adaptations called an ephemeral life-cycle. This is where a plant has a short life and has the capacity to leave behind hardy forms of propagation (Rice 180).
Scientists measure a region's dryness by contrasting precipitation to evaporation. Evaporation always outdoes precipitation. Deserts are classified as hot and or cold. Typical hot deserts include the Sahara and the Namib Desert of Namibia. Cold deserts have hot summers and cold winters. Cold deserts include Turkestan in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Gobi in China and Mongolia, and the Great Salt Lake Desert in Utah ("Desert" 1-2).
Cold deserts usually get precipitation in the form of snow. Cool coastal deserts are located around the same latitudes as subtropical deserts. The normal temperature is much cooler because of chilly offshore ocean current. The soil is smooth with a calm salt content. Hot and Dry deserts are the hottest kinds of deserts. These contain arid terrain and fast evaporation. The soil has a rough texture that is flat and rocky. The soil is rough due minor chemical weathering.
All desert animals share some type of characteristics, mostly that have to do with adaptations. Which means, all desert animals must adapt to the rough, humid, and dry climate that deserts have to offer.
All animals of the desert also have to have amazing drought tolerance. Most animals that live in this biome do their hunting and wandering during the night. This is why most predators stay in wet microhabitats. They stay here because the living conditions is more suitable, and prey is easier to hunt.
Many insects, such as ants live underground to obtain...

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