Desert animals are distinguishable by their physical adaptations to be able to live in a harsh, dry environment. In the desert, water can be scarce and temperatures can reach upwards of 120 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius). This is why desert dwellers, such as the Camel and the Jackrabbit, have evolved to be equipped to handle extreme conditions with the Camel having the ability to store and carry large amounts of water and the Jackrabbit with large ears that help cool and deflect heat.
Not only can deserts be extremely hot, but their temperatures can also drop at night, as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius) due to the lack of cloud cover to maintain heat. The animals living in these desert habitats have evolved to adapt and thrive in one of the most inhospitable, ever-changing habitats on Earth.
Desert animals can survive without water through various physical adaptations. For example, the camel has a hump in which fats are stored and small insects absorb moisture from their surroundings or water droplets from xerophyte plants. Some animals also rest in the colder areas below the desert soil.
Desert animals may have fur to help provide some traction from the ground. Fur also helps the skin of desert animals from the hot sand and ground surfaces. The fur also helps protect them from the sun rays while serving as insulation during cold nights.
Typically, animals in the desert eat plants, insects, and carcasses. It is often easier for smaller animals to find food in the desert and stay satisfied. This is due to the scarcity of food and water as well as extreme climate conditions. Animals usually find food by scavenging around the desert.