All About Desert Animals – List and Adaptation
- Updated on 13 Nov 2022
- Prakriti Dhodare
- 3 mins read
Table of Contents
When we talk about desert, the first thing that comes to mind is a Camel because they live in the desert. Have you ever wondered if the Camel is the only desert animal? The answer is no. Many other animals live in the desert. Who are the other animals that live in the desert? Once you learn about the animals found in the desert, one more question will arise: What will be the desert animal’s adaptations to survive in the arid environment? In this article, you will discover a list of desert animals names and their life adaptations in the desert.
What are Desert Animals?
Animals that survive in some of the most brutal environments on the planet have incredible physical adaptations. The desert is one of the harshest environments on this planet. Desert animals live in the desert and have adapted to their surroundings.
What Do Desert Animals Eat?
Physical adaptations help desert animals survive under extreme conditions. They usually eat plants, insects, and carcasses. When the climatic conditions are intense, food and water in the desert are inadequate. Here are some of the things to eat for desert habitat animals.
Many plant species have adaptation features that allow them to store water in their stems. Some animals, such as camels, desert goats, pronghorns and deer, eat prickly pear cactus, brittlebush etc., plants to survive.
In the desert, animals such as iguanas, chameleons, and jerboas eat insects to survive.
When food is scarce, every living being finds a way to survive. When desert animals can’t find food, they can also eat dead animals.
List of Desert Animals and Their Adaptations
A Camel is a large animal. Camels can survive in extreme desert conditions because of their well-known adaptations to their desert lifestyle. Camels have long necks and humps on their back. They have long eyelashes, and elongated nostrils protect them from blowing dust and sand. They can easily survive without water for long periods, and energy-rich fat stored in their humps allows them to stay for a long time without food.
Peccary is a type of mammal also known as a Javelin; it is found in the southern deserts of the United States. They are herbivores and love to eat succulent plants and prickly pears. Succulent plants make survival possible for peccaries until rainfall provides new food plants and water resources.
3) Black-tailed Jackrabbit
Black-tailed Jackrabbits are not rabbits; they are hares known as American desert hares. They are common in the western United States and Mexico. Their adaptation is distinct due to their long ears. The skin of their ears is slightly thin and full of blood vessels. When temperatures rise, jackrabbits can regulate blood flow through their ears by enlarging their blood vessels.
4) Fire Ants
Fire ants are diminutive, brown-coloured insects. Fire ants would rather eat high-protein foods like dead animals, birds, plants, nectar, seeds, and living insects. It can inflict painful stings on humans and animals.
Roadrunners are well-known for their fast running; they eat insects, reptiles, eggs, fruits, seeds, scorpions, snails, and more. They get all the moisture from the diet. They never need to take a single sip of water in their lives; they sip occasionally but do not require it.
Addax adaptations for this desert environment include a white-coloured coat which reflects heat and helps them incorporate into the desert landscape. They have a short stumpy muzzle, which enables them to graze on rough desert grasses, acacias, and plants like tubers.
7) Desert Monitor
The desert monitor is a type of small monitor lizard. They can eat almost anything and swallow it whole. It depends on the goanna’s size and includes insects, birds, eggs, small reptiles, and mammals.
Dromedaries are Arabian Camels. They have one hump, which stores up to 80 pounds of fat. They have two rows of long eyelashes to protect their eyes from sand. They also have large, rigid lips, which allow them to pick food in dry and thorny desert vegetation. They can easily navigate the rough, rocky landscape and shifting desert sands with their large, thick footpads.
9) Bitis Peringueyi (Sidewinder)
Bitis Peringueyi is also known as the African sidewinder snake. They are carnivores, and their habitat is desert areas. They only eat lizards and geckos, which provide them with water.
The Onagers are herbivores, Asiatic wild horses who survive on the desert’s scarce plant life. They eat foods, including grasses, bushes, herbs, and foliage.
How Do Desert Animals Survive Without Water?
Animals cannot survive in deserts without water. Animals adapt to the environment by living underground or resting in caves during the day’s heat. Some animals get the moisture their bodies need from their food, so they don’t need to drink much water. Other animals live along the edges of deserts, with more plants and shelter. For example, Camels get moisture from desert plants.
Why Are Many Desert Animals Nocturnal?
Many animals are nocturnal (active at night) because they find this an excellent way to avoid extreme daytime temperatures. Most animals seek refuge in the shade of a plant or beneath a rock to avoid the heat during the day.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Which Animal is Known as the Ship of the Desert?
Answer: The ship of the desert name is given to the Camel. It is because of their physical characteristics, which are sufficiently adapted to the conditions of the desert.
2) Which Animal Carries Travellers in the Desert?
Answer: Commonly, Camels carry carts or carriages to travel in deserts. It is due to the level of adaptability of the Camel. They can easily survive in the desert.
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