A desert is a very dry habitat that receives less than 10 inches of rainfall per year.
Nearly 33% of the land surface on earth is covered in desert.
Deserts are found on every continent in the world.
Without easy access to the water that is essential to life, many deserts appear to be barren wastelands.
Many species of plants and animals thrive in deserts because of their special adaptations. For example, many species of cactus store water in them for most of the year. They are protected by sharp spines to keep animals from taking advantage of this easy water supply.
Many warm blooded mammals, like these Fennec Foxes, have very large ears so they can regulate their body temperature. Most desert animals are nocturnal, so they can hide during the intense heat of the day and take advantage of the cooler temperatures at night.
The temperature in a desert may be scorching while the sun is out, but at night, temperatures are drastically lower.
Many deserts receive nearly all their annual rainfall in a single season, or even just one rainstorm. Desert rainstorms can be massive, and very violent.
The plants and animals of the desert will store every precious drop of water they can and use it to survive and thrive in this harsh environment.