Desert Animals Adapt to Survive Extreme Heat

Have you ever wondered how some animals survive extreme desert heat? The species who inhabit desert regions use various tactics to survive.

The desert has lethal surface temperatures reaching up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. To combat the deadly heat, some animals are constantly on the prowl for water. Consuming water helps these animals maintain low body temperatures.

Other animals, like scorpions and spiders for example, only hunt during the cool of the night. Scorpions are covered with hairs that are sensitive to movements in the air: these hairs help the creepy-crawlers to track down prey like lizards, small rodents, and insects. Plant-eating, desert-living species also like to hunt at night.

Another way that animals can escape hot desert temperatures is by burrowing underground. The sandfish, for instance, is a lizard with close-fitting scales that allow it to wriggle through desert sand and into the cool ground underneath.

Using their innovative cooling methods, many animals thrive in the harsh desert climates.

[Source: The Kingfisher Young People’s Book of Living Worlds]