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Desert, Not Dessert
Transcript of Desert, Not Dessert
By: Gabrielle Simmons
Extreme heat during and dryness during the day and cold at night
Estimated that saguaros can live to be as much as 150-200 years old
Saguaro are very slow growing cactus
When rain is plentiful and the saguaro is fully hydrated it can weigh between 3200-4800 pounds
Range through a wide variety of desert habitats as along as they are within 10 miles of drinking water
Feed on a variety of of plants, including grasses, Mormon Tea, Palo Verde and Plantain
Females give birth to one colt each year, which grows to an average weight of about 350 pounds.
No natural predator, competitor or common diseases, most young burros reach maturity and may live as long as 25 years in the wild.
Diet: Browser/Grazer, feed on variety of vegetation
Average temperature is 90 degrees during the day and ranges from 28-39 degrees at night
10 inches of rain a year
rain usually falls in sudden storms
deserts that receive higher amounts of rainfall receive it in a few months time, while others have many months of drought
sometimes there can be up to several storms a year or none for several years average
rainfall each year is not calculated based on one year's rainfall, but on the total rainfall in a long period of time
The desert is mainly found around the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn in Northern and Southern Hemisphere and occupies one fifth to one third of the earths surface
Desert plants have different ways of capturing water in order to survive in the desert habitat. Common adaptation is the development of ways to store water in the roots, stems or leaves
Plants that store water through the leaves are called succulents
Some plants have very long roots that go deep in the ground to reach underground water while many have leaves that limit water loss through their lead surface, size, sheen and texture
Some plants are glossy leaves that help reflect the suns rays and reduce temperature
The most common way animals in the desert adapt is through staying in the shade of plants or under rocks
many animals burrow underground to stay cool
most animals in the desert are nocturnal, so they only come out at night during the cool weather
animals in the desert have minimal body fat because fat collects body heat and the animals concentrate the body fat on other places, such as the tail, rather then through out the body
Map of Deserts
important predator to the habitat
eats insects, scorpions, mice, and hummingbirds
runs up to 20 mph
long legs and tail
quickness allows it to snack a humming bird or dragonfly from midair
requires very little water and can regulate their own body temperature
High in Organic
Soil gets 10 inches less each year due to the rain
Grows extremely slow to minimize the energy for water in reproduction
Largest cacti in the American Southwest
This kind of cactus can live up to 50 - 100 years old.
Prickly Pear Cactus
Packrats build their dens at the base of the plant, providing protection from its predators.
They're covered with glochids, pointy hairs.
The flowers surrounding the cactus are yellow and bloom in May & June. Ripe, bright, red fruit are found beginning in July.
Most tumbleweeds disperse 250,000 seeds per plant every time it "tumbles"
Tumbleweed is also known as "Russian thistle" and "in witch"
The weed goes from a pretty blue-green seedling and grows into a prickly, wiry weed.
Habitat: Southwestern Desert
Lifespan: 8 - 17 years
Breeding: Breed at 25 years, Births given in May or June.
Niche: sensitive to disease, due to livestock
Predators: Mountain lions, wolves, bobcats, coyotes and golden eagles
Yucca has branched clusters of purplish-white, bell-shaped flowers between 1 and 2 inches long
Yucca plants are reliant on the yucca moth for pollination.
The desert paintbrush flower is red and/or orange
Leaves of the desert paintbrush are one to two inches long and green in color
The paintbrush can be up to sixteen inches tall.
Diet: Small mammals and birds
Habitat: Brush region, Rock, Desert Broken Country
Lifespan: 15- 25 years in captivity
Breeding: Birth given in the spring, pregnant for 60 days.
Lifespan: 5 -7 years
Habitat: Scrubby areas
he offspring ar
Predators: Bobcats, coug
•Ocelot: nocturnal, eats rodents and domestic animals. Only 100 left in the US.
Habitat: Western U.S
Lifespan: 3 to 4 years
Predators: black-footed ferrets, b
s, coyotes, foxes, eagles, prairie
takes about 35 days and takes
arch, and has
Diet: Variety of desert grasses
Habitat: sandy soils, open grassland
Predators: Owls, snakes, bobcats, foxes
Lifespan: 2 - 5 years
Breeding: Season varies
•Pupfish: A small fish (approximately two inches long) with a smoothly rounded body shape and narrow, vertical dark bars on the sides.
Threats To Desert
Global Warming - leading to droughts which would dry up holes
Higher temperature may produce number of wildfires - altering the landscape.
More grazing animals will destroy the desert.
Nuclear waste dumped
Oil, gas disrupt sensitive habit.
Irrigation leads to salt levels in the soil and become to high to support plants
Common Bear Poppy - It is a perennial forb that displays a small mound of white flowers, each having four delicate petals. This plant blooms in the late spring.
Mesa Verde Fishhook Cactus - is a federally threatened species, and the small cactus is a mere one inch tall or less.