Desert biome essay

Desert Animal Printouts

Biologists have observed ravens catching and carrying young tortoises and have noted the carcasses of young tortoises below raven nests. Perhaps the most dangerous hazard to the desert tortoise is disease. Since 1988, the deadly upper respiratory disease syndrome? Marked by runny, mucous-filled nostrils and raspy breathing? Has struck tortoises throughout the western and central Mojave. Few, if any, infected tortoises survive this disease. The disease is highly contagious, in one area having spread to 40 of the population within a one-year period (Steinhart).

Mining and energy related exploration and development within the desert have claimed additional habitat, and road building for sport these projects have carved the tortoise? S range into even smaller fragments. In addition to being barriers, roads have allowed once-remote habitat within reach of millions of city dwellers that can severely disrupt the habitat. Other portions of habitat have been degraded by off-road vehicle use and livestock grazing, decreasing the availability of food plants for the tortoises. When food supplies drop, tortoises may not lay eggs that season, to conserve energy, therefore reducing their reproductive potential. Loss of vegetation cover due to livestock overgrazing can also leave young tortoises more exposed to predators, and grazing animals can crush tortoises and their burrows below them. Military activity in the desert, particularly training exercises that employ off-road maneuvers with tanks and artillery, are extremely destructive to the fragile desert landscape. Scars from training operations in 19 were still evident in aerial photographs taken in 1986 (Teller). While encroaching on tortoise habitat, humans have also unintentionally encouraged the increase of a major tortoise predator. Garbage dumps and sewage ponds designed to serve the growing human populations attract large flocks of ravens, which, given the opportunity, prey upon young tortoises. Fish and Wildlife service (usfws) estimates that raven populations in the mojave desert have increased over 1,51990 (Teller).

desert biome essay

Biome/Habitat Animal Printouts

The eggs are then covered with soil resume for protection from coyotes, foxes, badgers, or other predators. During years when food is plentiful, tortoises can lay up to three clutches of eggs. Young tortoises hatch between August and October, depending on when their clutch was laid. They are slow growers, averaging less than one inch per year. Their flexible shells make them vulnerable to ravens, roadrunners, raptors, snakes, bobcats, foxes, and coyotes, until they reach five to eight years of age. That is when shell hardening and larger size can help protect them from most threats. Since the early 1900?s, the desert tortoise has been threatened with a terrible array of impacts. One major threat is the loss of habitat. Between 19, an approximate increase in the human population of the mojave desert has taken over large areas of prime tortoise habitat and eliminated the desert tortoise from areas such as the Antelope valley.

desert biome essay

Desert Life - animal - plants - people - desertUSA

They emerge to feast upon the tender grasses, broad-leafed annuals, and new shoots of perennials that pop up from the deserts sandy soils. Desert tortoises also like to dig shallow basins in areas writing with impermeable soil to catch drinking water from brief thunderstorms the desert might have. However, they can go for years without drinking any water, taking most of their moisture from the plants they feed on and storing the water in their bladder. When not in hibernation, desert tortoises tend to court whenever the opportunity arises. There is no well-defined mating season, but much of the mating takes place in the month of April. By the middle of may until July, the female desert tortoise will scoop a nest in soft soil near, or at, the burrow entrance. Depending on her size, a female desert tortoise can lay between three and fourteen hard-shelled eggs that are about the size and shape of ping-pong balls.

S official state reptile, carries a high-domed tan to dark brown carapace (shell which protects them from most predators. Yet even those shells are unable to shield the desert tortoise from such threats as the golden eagle and the automobile. Desert tortoises commonly dig their burrows in dry, gravelly soil beneath creosote bushes, large shrubs, or beside washes in the open desert. The burrows have entrances shaped like half moons, like the tortoises profiles, and can range from one to ten feet, depending on how many animals might inhabit the burrow. They often share their burrows with lizards, snakes, rabbits, woodrats, or other desert creatures who do not pose a threat to them. Late winter and spring are peak times to view active desert tortoises. Although sometimes a tortoise may emerge from its burrow during the early morning or late afternoon hours of the summer months, most remain underground until a late summer rainfall offers them a chance to replenish their water reserves. By october, most tortoises begin their winter hibernation. In mid-March, rising temperatures and sprouting annual plants entice desert tortoises out of hibernation.

Biomes and Ecozones: Writing guide - a research guide for

desert biome essay

Biome in a baggie science video pbs learningMedia

Elf owls often take over these nests when they are pro abandoned. Desert life is a constant struggle for every form essay of life, plant and animal. Although this vast arid land is so harsh adaptation has played its part to supply these deserts with abundant source of life. Deserts are found on every continent but Antarctica. Here are the deserts found in North America.

North America Area (Sq. Miles great Basin (southwestern United States) 190,000. Chihuahuan (northern Mexico) 175,000, sonoran (southwestern. And Baja california) 120,000. Colorado (California and northern Mexico yuma (Arizona and Sonora, mexico mojave (southwestern United States) 25,000. Desert Tortoises Essay, research Paper, vulnerable to the harsh desert conditions, the desert tortoise spends almost all of its time waiting out extreme temperatures in its underground burrow. There, this armored, terrestrial turtle conserves its energy and stays relatively cool during summer months, and relatively warm during winter months.

Photosynthesis, the process by which plants make carbohydrates as fuel to meet their energy requirements, occurs on the green surface of the cactus stem. The stem is fleshy and thick and can store a large amount of water. Its tough skin keeps the water safely hoarded. Cactus roots spread out near the surface of the soil, enabling the plant to absorb water from a wide area during the infrequent, light rains that occur in the desert. With few exceptions, cacti bear tough, sharp spines.


These spines help protect the plant from many desert-dwelling animals. The spines grow from small cushion-like tissues called areoles that are arranged in patterns on the surface of the plant. One of the most impressive cacti is the saguaro, the giant cactus of Arizona. Scientists place it in the genus Cereus. Its stems and branches are like great spiny columns up to 2 feet (about.6 meter) thick. It often grows to a height of 50 feet (15 meters). It has long, tubular, showy flowers. The egg-shaped fruit is edible, with a crimson pulp.(Comptons Encyclopedia) woodpeckers dig out their nests in the big stems.

Afar Triangle - wikipedia

Other plants depend upon gpa underground water and have long root systems. Various adaptations of the leaves prevent loss of moisture through transpiration. Cactus leaves, for example, are reduced to spines. The dream most precious thing in the desert is water. Ordinary non-desert plants take up water from the soil by means of their deep roots and give off water through their leaves. This process is called transpiration. The cactus has no leaves or only very small ones that usually drop off as the plant matures. The cactus thus avoids a huge loss of water.

desert biome essay

Plants of plan the desert depend on sources of water or the adaptations they have developed. Few parts of the desert are entirely barren. Where water seeps toward the surface, a great variety of plants spring. After a rain low shrubs and grasses come to life. At blooming time, the plants are fragrant and bright with color. They grow quite far apart, instead of providing complete ground cover. Desert plants differ in the ways they adapt themselves to arid places. Those that depend on the rain sprout when it falls, bloom quickly, ripen their seed in a few days, then wither and die.

is common, and it may be as great as 60 to 70 Fahrenheit degrees (33 to 39 Celsius degrees). In the deserts, ordinary wells can usually tap a supply of good water. Oasis settlements therefore are most often found where wadis are numerous. Ergs into which many wadis drain may have a water supply. Desert shrubs in the hollows between the dunes signal its presence. Desert soils are usually productive when given water. They are coarse textured and highly mineralized. Most widely cultivated are the water-transported soils of floodplains and alluvial fans.

The fifth year brought.6 inches (1.5 centimeters making a five-year average.12 inches (0.3 centimeter). At another time.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) fell in a single shower. Temperatures range widely in deserts. The greatest daily fluctuations occur in deserts near the equator. Temperatures above 100o f (38o C) occur regularly in summer. Azizia, 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Tripoli, in Libya, holds the record with 136.4o f (58o c while death Valley, calif., comes close with 134o f (56.7o C). (Genius book of world records 2000) Winters are cold in middle-latitude deserts, located far from the equator. At luktchin in central Asia the average temperature dubai in July is 90o f (32o c while the january average is 13o f (-10.6o C)a range of 77 Fahrenheit degrees (42.6 Celsius degrees Comptons Encyclopedia).

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Desert biome Essay, research Paper, strange desert biome, any barren region that supports very little life may be called a desert. The cold expanses of Antarctica, extreme northern Asia, and Greenland are therefore true, but cold, deserts. Most commonly, however, the term desert is used for regions that are barren because they are arid, or dry. Arid deserts receive little precipitation and are characterized by specialized plants that tolerate drought conditions and salty soils, and by distinctive land features. Most desert areas get less than 5 inches (13 centimeters) of rain in a year. The rainfall is not only scanty but also uncertain. Records at Iquique in northern Chile showed no rain for a period of four years.


desert biome essay
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  5. The desert biome is characterized by low precipitation, a high rate of evaporation (seven to fifty times as much as precipitation.

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  7. Mojave (southwestern United States) 25,000. Desert, biome, essay, research Paper. Any barren region that supports very little life may be called. Sahara, desert, essay, research Paper.

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