Deserts are the driest and the hottest places on earth. For long periods they get no rain and bear the hot sun. Still so many kinds of creatures live there. It is a wonder how they manage to get water and food there.
The fact is that every creature finds ways to fight the heat, hunger and thirst. The gerbils (a kind of desert rat) spend the hot day in cool underground holes. Dark beetles catch drops of water on their legs.
Not all deserts are seas of sand dunes. Some are rocky and dotted with small bushes while others are sprinkled with colourful flowers during the spring.
There are more than 2300 kinds of snakes around the world. Some are long or poisonous, others are small and harmless. In the deserts of America live rattlesnakes. They are very dangerous and poisonous. They can feel the movement of a person, but cannot hear any sound. They live on mice, and squirrels. The large pythons can do without eating for a year.
The other animal in the desert is mongoose. Mongooses travel in groups and eat small creatures. They hunt together. They too have their enemies like hawks, eagles and large snakes. Mongooses are famous for killing snakes. The female mongooses raise their kitten inside hollow logs or old termite mounts.
Another notable animal found in the desert is the camel. Some are wild, but most are domesticated by people. A thirsty camel can drink upto thirty gallons of water at a time. Normally it meets its need of water from desert plants. It can survive for upto ten months without drinking any water.
There are two kinds of camel. The Dromedary camel has a single hump. The Bactrian camel has two humps. Humps act as storage containers. They are not used for storing water. They are full of fat which keeps them alive for several days. A camel’s mouth is so tough that no thorn can pierce into it.