The Biodiversity of Hot Deserts Flashcards

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Note: We may include questions that have multiple correct answers. It’s useful to remember specific examples to understand these concepts better.

What types of organisms can be found in hot deserts?

Hot deserts can be home to cacti, scorpions, camels, iguanas, lizards, sheep, antelope, coyotes, rabbits, hedgehogs, foxes and snakes.

What are xerophytes?

Xerophytes are plants that can thrive in hot, dry environments. Examples include cacti, gymnosperm plants and pineapples.

How do camels adapt to desert life?

Camels have two sets of eyelashes and closable nostrils to keep sand out, wide apart toes to prevent sinking in sand, and humps to store fat, allowing them to survive long periods without food or water.

What are some plant adaptations for desert survival?

Plant adaptations include tap roots for accessing deep water, small leaves to reduce water loss, thick stems for water storage, spines instead of leaves, shallow roots for capturing surface water, and thick, waxy skin to prevent transpiration.

How have some desert animals adapted to avoid the extreme heat?

Many desert animals are nocturnal, becoming active at night to avoid the extreme daytime heat. Examples include desert rodents, fennec foxes, skunks and mountain lions.

What is an aquifer?

An aquifer is an underground layer of permeable rock that holds and transmits water.

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