Deserts are extremely dry, sand-covered, barren lands that are desolate with sparse vegetation and a lack of rainfall. Throughout the day, desert temperatures rise to an average of 38 degrees celsius. And during the night, temperatures fall to around -3.9 degrees celsius. Deserts cover over a fifth of the Earth’s landmass and are located on every continent across the world. Due to the desert’s hostile conditions, many plants and animal species are unable to live there. However, there are also many animals that have adapted to life in the desert. Read below to find out about the Top 15 Animals that Live in the Desert.
Top 15 Animals that Live in the Desert
Dingos are from the canine family and can hunt their prey both alone or in a pack. They can hunt mammals up to the size of a large kangaroo and can run at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
The Dingo is Australia’s largest terrestrial carnivore and has even been known to hunt down humans!
Camels are highly adept at surviving in the desert. They use their humps to store fat, which is later broken down into water for them to drink.
This means that they can stay hydrated while in the desert for long periods. They can absorb up to 30 gallons of water in just 13 minutes.
Armadillos thrive in warm climates due to their low body fat percentage and low body temperature.
They have a hard armor to protect them from predators and a long, sticky tongue to help them catch and eat their insect prey. They dig burrows in the desert sands to shelter.
Coyotes are part of the canine family. They have a thick fur that blends into their environment and can run up to speeds of 40 miles per hour.
They are excellent hunters and they travel in packs while stalking prey. They communicate with their pack through howls.
Giraffes normally occupy the Sahara Desert and spend a lot of their day grazing in loose formations, because their diet consists mainly of leaves and they need around 10 gallons of water per day, meaning their herds are dispersed widely across the Sahara desert.
Bats tend to hibernate often and different types of bats prefer different times of the day. Some bats come out during the day, while others come out at night.
The desert is perfect for bats because they feed on insects and vegetation, and like to be in a habitat away from humans.
Zebras have excellent eyesight, during the day and at night. They normally forage for food during the daylight, feeding on grasses and other vegetation.
Zebras are able to survive days without water which makes them well suited to living in the desert where the water supply can be scarce. They can also use their hooves to dig into desert sand to find hidden water sources.
Ostriches are the fastest two-legged flightless birds in the world, and the male of the species can weigh up to 350 pounds.
They can reach speeds of up to 70 km per hour, and have strong, powerful legs to take down predators. Ostriches are also omnivores, so they can feed on desert offerings easily.
Scorpions are poisonous desert dwellers from the invertebrate species, which possess stingers to protect themselves against predators.
They are nocturnal creatures and spend much of their time underneath the desert sand. They prey on insects and other scorpions.
10. Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoises are made for life in the desert and are able to live in temperatures over 60 degrees celsius because they can burrow themselves underneath the desert sand to ward off heat.
They can also go a long time without food and water and can store water in their bladder because they can tolerate high levels of urea in their blood.
11. King Cobra
The King Cobra is a dangerously venomous snake with an average body length between 10 to 12 feet. However, the largest King Cobras can reach up to a whopping 18 feet.
These expert predators can easily scare off any creature in the desert. They tend to inhabit small bodies of water and prey on other snakes.
12. Black Bear
Black bears normally live in forests and hibernate throughout winter, however, during the summer months, they can be found in desert canyons.
They have a varied diet and desert foods such as small desert prey, insects, roots and grasses are enough to feed these animals. Black Bears weigh between 59-300 kg and stand at around 4-6 feet in height.
Wolves hunt in packs and the desert provides a range of prey options for them. Normally, wolves hunt larger desert animals.
They can reach speeds of up to 50-60 km per hour and are very social and intelligent animals, living in family groups and taking care of their pack.
Jackrabbits can be either black-tailed or white-tailed. As they are vegetarians, their diet is excellent for desert life as they can feed on small amounts of wild vegetation and brush.
They are larger in size than normal rabbits and can reach speeds of up to 72 km per hour.
15. Mountain Lion
Mountain Lions belong to the large cat family. They are excellent, nocturnal, and very fast predators that use their tails and bursts of speed to catch their prey off guard.
The Mountain Lion’s prey normally consists of large animals such as deer and antelope. They can adapt to many climates, including the desert, and can reach speeds of up to 80 km per hour.
There you have it – 15 amazing animals that are capable of surviving the extreme fluctuating temperatures of the desert.
Some of these you may have expected to find on this list, but we’re certain that you’ve come across a couple of surprises too!