Deserts

Deserts A desert is an area defined by it has less than 50 cm of precipitation annually. Not all deserts are dry and sandy.Most of the worlds deserts tend to lie between 20 degrees to 30 degrees north and south latitude. North Africa, south western North America, the Middle East, and Australia support the largest deserts, but there are smaller deserts in other regions. Overall deserts cover one fifth of the earths surface.Hot desert climates are hot and dry, with high temperatures, usually around the 45 degrees Celsius mark which inturn with the low rainfall makes life in the desert very hard to support. At night the temperature can drop to around 18 degrees Celsius.

With the hot deserts high temperatures and low rainfall amount, it can make life in the desert hard to support. The main way in which animals and plants survive is by adaptation, they adapt to survive in their surroundings. The Australian desert is the greatest example of a desert in which animals and plants have adapted for their survival.Desert plants use various techniques to reduce water loss and increase water intake. Many plants store their water in their leaves or another space. When a plant stores water in its leaves, it must keep it their, without loosing it.

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Some plants have a low Surface Area to Volume ratio which reduces water evaporation. There is another plant which has the ability to twist its leaves, so its thinnest side is facing the sun, thus it heats less, then less water evaporation occurs. But before plants store their water carefully, they must obtain it. The main way in which desert plants obtain their water is by having a deep root system which are extremely effective.Desert animals use a variety of different techniques of avoiding dehydration. Some animals use the fact that night time is cooler to their advantage (nocturnal). Others store water in a specialised area in their body (camel).

The Rock Marsupial survives the high tempretures by living in rock crevices, or in a cave. They found that inside the caves the tempreture is considerably lower, and the humidity is higher, therefor decreasing waterloss.