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The Sahara Desert

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John Baker

on 24 June 2014

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Transcript of The Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert

Location, Ecosystem, and Interactions
The Animals and Plants of the Sahara Desert
Location of the Sahara Desert
The Sahara Desert is large enough to cover several parts of African nations including; Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia. Also, as being the world's largest desert, the Sahara Desert covers a third of the African continent, which is about the size of the United States.

The highest point of the desert is the 11,204-foot (3,415-metre) summit of Mount Koussi in the Tibesti Mountains in Chad. While the lowest is 436 feet (133 metres) below sea level, in the Qattara Depression of Egypt. It has a width of approximately 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometres) from east to west and between 800 and 1,200 miles from north to south with a total area of around 3,320,000 square miles (8,600,000 square kilometres)

The geographical coordinates of the Sahara desert is; 23.0797° N, 12.6123° E
Biotic/Abiotic interactions
The desert animals walking on the sand (biotic/abiotic)
Animals consuming other animals (biotic/biotic)
Animals eating plants (biotic/biotic)
The sun evaporating the water (abiotic/abiotic)
Animals breathing in the oxygen (biotic/abiotic)
Predators hiding in the sand for to hunt their prey (biotic/abiotic)
The wind blowing the sand (abiotic/abiotic)
Animals drinking the water (biotic/abiotic)
Fishes swimming in the water (biotic/abiotic)
Birds flying in the air (biotic/abiotic)

Type of ecosystem
The Sahara Desert is a desert ecosystem. It is one of the most hottest places on all of Earth, although what makes it a desert is not the heat, but rather it's dryness. Containing mostly sand dunes, salt flats, and dry valleys with very little water to go around, only receiving about less than three inches (7.6 cm) of rain each year. With it's most received amount of rain twice in one week and won't rain again for years in it's most WETTEST areas. Also, it has the climate of immense heat during the day, with temperatures that can rise up to 136 F (57.7 C)

In the mountain ranges, there are volcanos built entirely from fluid lava flows, in the ground. Emi Koussi, an example of a shield volcano, is the highest point in the Sahara Desert. There are underground aquifers, which sometimes breaks through onto the surface and create oases. Although they're extremely hot, these oases help provide water for the plants and animals that live in the desert.

Adaptations of animals
African Peyote Cactus
: This plant survives the harsh conditions of the Sahara desert by holding back water for extended periods of time, with the help of its thickly built stems. Another one of it's survival strategies is cutting down on water loss through evaporation. Its leaves are spines, and this helps decrease the rate at which the plant loses moisture in the air.
Common Fig
: It is capable of surviving even in nutritionally poor soil and also can handle the seasonal drought due to its deep roots.
The Energy Pyramid
Preservation of the Sahara Desert
It is important to preserve the Sahara Desert because many different species of animals and plants reside in this particular desert, and took millions of years to slowly adapt to this area, therefore if the desert is gone, the animals and plants will have nowhere else to go that is exactly the same as the Sahara Desert. Within this ecosystem, there are 70 species of mammals, 20 of which are larger mammals. There are also 90 species of birds, and around 100 species of reptiles.
Matter Cycle
The matter cycle first begins with the
. The sunlight, water, soil (in this case sand), and carbon dioxide help the plants grow. Plants such as the date palm tree.
Carbon Cycle
1. Photosynthesis
Through the process of photosynthesis, plants use carbon dioxide and turn it into sugar and starches. The palm tree like all plants, use this process of photosynthesis.
Disruptions of the Sahara Desert

Global warming is increasing the amounts of drought there are in the desert, which dries up water holes.
The higher temperatures caused may produce an even larger number of wildfires that can possibly change desert landscapes by eliminating slower growing trees and shrubs and replacing them with fast-growing grasses.
Irrigation which is used in agriculture, in the long run, lead to salt levels in the soil that become too high to support plants.
Grazing animals can destroy many desert plants and animals.
The Potassium cyanide used in gold mining may poison wildlife, and if it is food to other consumers such as a higher level consumer or scavenger and decomposer, it will most likely fall poisoned as well.
The vehicules who drives of road and into the desert, when used carelessly, can cause serious damage to the desert habitats, and then after, the inhabitants (animals and plants).
Oil and gas production may disrupt the balance of the delicate habitat.
The Camel: By carrying fat in its humps on its back, it is able to be burned for energy when the camel is unable to locate any food. Which is helpful for living in the largest desert in the world.
Addax Antelope: They are able to travel across the Sahara Desert with little difficulty using their genetically built flat feet to help them.
Sidewinder: The peculiar sideways movement of the sidewinders helps it traverse the sands of the Sahara quickly, and effectively.
The Ostrich: They can travel long ways, and can also pick up small noises and see movement across long distances, helping them spot and avoid predators. A neat trick to have when you're living in an ecosystem as wide as the Sahara.
Fennec Fox: These foxes are day-sleepers (nocturnal) and are distinguished by their very large ears. Not only do the ears help them to hear better in the desert, but also help them to release body heat, keeping them cool.
Jerboa: The jerboa doesn’t have to drink water as often as we do. It still needs water to survive of course, like all living organisms, but it is able to take enough from its foods to be sufficed for its needs.
Adaptations of plants
Spotted Hyena

Slender Mongoose

Saharan Cheetah

African Wild Dogs
Dung Beetle



Types of worms

"10 Incredibly Adaptive Sahara Desert Animals - Conservation Institute." Conservation Institute. Web. 16 May 2014. <http://www.conservationinstitute.org/10-incredibly-adaptive-sahara-desert-animals/>.
"Arabian (Dromedary) Camels, Arabian (Dromedary) Camel Pictures, Arabian (Dromedary) Facts - National Geographic." National Geographic. Web. 16 May 2014. <http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/dromedary-camel/?source=A-to-Z>.
"Life in the Sahara." Life in the Sahara. Web. 15 May 2014. <http://www.calacademy.org/exhibits/africa/exhibit/sahara/>.
"Sahara Conservation Fund." Sahara Conservation Fund. Web. 16 May 2014. <http://www.saharaconservation.org/>.
WorldWildlife.org. World Wildlife Fund. Web. 19 May 2014. <http://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/pa1327>.
Kulkarni, Arjun. "Sahara Desert Animals." Buzzle. Buzzle.com. Web. 19 May 2014. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sahara-desert-animals.html>.
Singha, Rajib. "Sahara Desert Plants." Buzzle. Buzzle.com. Web. 18 May 2014. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sahara-desert-plants.html>.
WorldWildlife.org. World Wildlife Fund. Web. 19 May 2014. <http://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/pa1327>.
LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 12 Sept. 2012. Web. 20 May 2014. <http://www.livescience.com/23140-sahara-desert.html>.
"Preloader." Preloader. Web. 20 May 2014. <https://tdsb.elearningontario.ca/content/enforced/706985-BL_G7_G7ST-20__1213Sem2/GRD7SCI-BLE/GRD7SCI-BLEU01/GRD7SCI-BLEU01A04/mme/1-4_EarthCycles_MME/PDSB_Bulgarelli_Gr7_EarthCycles.html?_&d2lSessionVal=btG8X5nromZR9QgGT2lxYpfIa&ou=706985>.
"Desert Threats, Endangered Species - National Geographic." National Geographic. Web. 20 May 2014. <http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/desert-threats/>.
"Why Is Oil Usually Found in Deserts and Arctic Areas?" Scientific American Global RSS. Web. 21 May 2014.
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https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sidewinder+snake (second video)
In the Sahara Desert, there are many plants that are used for ingredients in medical treatments. Such as the Citrullus colocynthis (gourd), which are used for detoxing and healing parts of the human body. The Thyme, used for treating indigestion, respiratory infections, and spasms. Doum Plant, the nuts is grounded to dress wounds and an infusion of the fruit which is believed to help manage high blood pressure. Red Acacia Trees, helping reduce cholesterol levels, treating inflammation of the throat, and stomach inflammation.
Many of the materials we use are also made from the plants and possibly animals of the Sahara. Once again appears the Doum plant, The white nut of the plant's fruit made into buttons by the natives, the rind of the fruit, which is used in preparing molasses, sweetmeats, and cakes, and the leaves of the palm are used for making paper and mats.

Now comes in the
. Their job in this cycle is to eat the plants. Maybe they will also serve as food for other consumers. This also applies to omnivores. In the Sahara, a Jerboa might find the dates produced from the date palm tree to look satisfying and eat it, following the order of the matter cycle.
The third step is about the
Scavengers and Decomposers
.When the herbivores dies, the matter their have recieved from the plants are not lost. The scavengers (the vultures) break down the remains down to little pieces, and the decomposers (bacteria)break it down even further. Including the bones. After the jerboa has died, possibly of old age or sickness, (or chewed apart by its predator) will be broken down possibly by the vultures, then into smaller pieces by bacteria.
The last process in this cycle involves
. The left over matter from this process are simply some simple chemical substances. It is added back into the soil, providing important nutrients for the growing plants, and as new plants grow, such as the palm tree, a new matter cycle begins.
2. Organisms
All the organisms get their share of energy from plants. By eating them. As a part of this process, water and carbon dioxide are released. The carbon dioxide released by animals breathing out. After the Jerboa eats the dates produced from the date palm trees, it is able to gain water from the dates, and breathes out carbon dioxide.
3. Fossil Fuels
Occasionally, the plants manage to live long enough, without getting eaten and they get buried in the soil along with the carbon. If the carbon does not manage to decompose completely, over millions of time, the carbon turns into fossil fuels. Such as coal or oil. The Sahara desert has a rich source of oil and natural gas deep in the sands, caused by the carbon that were not decomposed under the soil.
4. Humans
The fossil fuels are further used by humans, who use them to produce electricity, and such. The are oil rigs and mines in the Sahara Desert, leading to the construction of roads in the desert to ensure the safety when bringing equipment to the mines and oil rigs.
Image Bibliography
Prezi image/symbols

Fennec Fox (omnivore)

Ostrich (omnivore)

Nubian Bustard

Anubis Baboon

Desert Hedgehog

Addax Antelop

Fennec Fox (omnivore)

Ostrich (omnivore)

Arabian Camels

Dorcas Gazelle

Anubis Baboon (omnivore)

Desert Hedgehog (omnivore)

PRODUCERS (plants)
African Peyote Cactus

Red Acacia Trees

Common Fig

Doum Palm


Olive Trees

Date Palm

Sahara Desert Food Web
Producers are all plants, and what makes them a producer is the fact that the produce energy from the sun using photosynthesis
Primary consumers
are animals that eat the producers. They can also be called
Secondary consumers
are consumers that eat the primary consumers to survive.
Tietry consumers, or more commonly known as third level consumers, survive by feasting on the secondary consumers.
s are organisms that have the ability to decompose organic material.
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