Living in deserts is really hard! Indeed, with less than 10 inches of rainfall a year, deserts are dry all year round. To make the matter worse, the temperature in some deserts can change drastically from the day to the night. The Sahara Desert of Africa, for example, can easily reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. After sunset, however, the temperature can drop to be less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit! As inhospitable as deserts appear to be, many animals have found their homes there. How do they do it? Well, here are some amazing stories -
Nicknamed "ships of the desert", camels are the most recognizable desert animals. Camels always overeat and stock extra food as fat in their humps. When there is no water, camels start shedding pounds. While most animals die if they lose 20% of their body weight, camels can function even if they lose 25% of their body weight.
Addaxes belong to the family of antelopes. Their survival tip is not to drink water! How can they live without drinking water? Well, addaxes get enough moisture from just licking dew and eating plants. When the temperature gets too hot, they rest in shade. Addaxes can only be found in the Sahara Desert and they face the danger of extinction.
Living in the desert areas of the United States and Mexico, roadrunners reduce their activities by 50% as the temperature is at its hottest. If the weather gets too cold at night, roadrunners enter a temporary hibernation, called torpid. They sleep through the night without moving to conserve energy. When they wake up in the morning, they bask in the sun to warm up.
Black-tailed jackrabbits have a pair of long ears, close to 6 inches. Like most rabbits and hares, black-tailed jackrabbits rely on their keen hearing to detect danger. Unlike most rabbits and hares, black-tailed jackrabbits also use their bigger-than-normal ears to get rid of excess heat.
No doubt, deserts are not for every animal. Without access to water, we cannot last long there. Nevertheless, a handful of animals have managed to prove themselves great survivors!