Unseen Passage: Sahara Desert

Deserts are usually hot and barren places; yet, they are also beautiful. A few plants, rocks and dusty red-brown soil make up the ingredients of most North American deserts where there is sufficient food and water for certain animals to survive.

One famous dry and hot place in the world with no visible rock or plant barely any water is the Sahara Desert. It is the largest desert in the world and is located in Northern Africa. It gives the impression of an ocean of pure white sand. Surprisingly, the Sahara is home to many strange animals.

These animals have survived over many generations because they were able to adapt to their particular conditions. However, a certain number of species were unable to adapt fast enough to their environment and so died out. One of the most interesting animals in the Sahara is the sand stink which in French means ‘fish of the desert’. The sand stink behaves just like a fish except that instead of in water, it ‘swims’ through the sand. Its legs act as fins and the hard scales on its skin act as armor helping it move through the sand. A piece of transparent skin protects its eyes as it swims through the sand. Its eggs are covered with skin to prevent dehydration.

Another desert animal that hides from the sun is the desert shrimp. The lifespan of these tiny animals is only about two weeks because that is about when puddles of water from desert rainstorms dry up. They are able to survive in the hot conditions, but without their main source of survival, they dehydrate and are virtually roasted to death.

One of the rare animals able to bask in the desert sun is the camel. For many hundreds of years, the camel has been the ‘horse of the desert’, helping travellers across the desert. This ‘horse’ is slowmoving, yet it is big and strong enough to carry extremely heavy loads. The camel has larger feet almost like snowshoes. This characteristic prevents it from sinking into the sand.

A camel is able to drink up to one hundred and eighteen liters of water in a day. Once it is full, it can move for five to seven days without water, carrying its own portable ‘water tank’. Its humps help to store fats which serve as a storage of strength, removing the need for food, sometimes for a week. In fact, the humps become smaller as the camel consumes the fats stored. They also help to regulate the camel’s temperature.

Q. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions:

  1. How much water is a camel able to drink up in a day? What is the use of its hump?
  2. Name one of the interesting animals in the Sahara. Describe it.
  3. What prevents camel to sink into the sand?
  4. Why can only certain animals survive in the North American deserts?
  5. In para 2, the word which means ‘opinion’ is __________.
    1. impression
    2. barely
    3. located
    4. sufficient
  6. The synonym of ‘small pool’ as given in para 4 is __________.
  7. The antonym of ‘unknown’ as given in para 2 is __________.
    1. famous
    2. hot
    3. barely
    4. visible
  8. The antonym of ‘common’ as given in para 5 is __________.

Answer

  1. A camel is able to drink up one hundred and eighteen litres of water. Its humps help to store fats which serve as a storage of strength, removing the need for food.
  2. One of the interesting animals in the Sahara is the sand stink which is known as ‘fish of the desert’ in French. The sand stink behaves as fish except that in water it swims through the sand.
  3. The camel has large feet almost like snowshoes. This characteristic almost prevents it from sinking into the sand.
  4. Only certain animals can survive in the North American deserts because sufficient food and water is there to survive.
  5. impression
  6. puddle
  7. famous
  8. rare

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.