Welcome to the Desert!

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The Desert Locations Around the Globe
By:
Block
David C
D
Cameron A
D
Cheyenne B
D
Nicole S
C
Shabra S
C
Ethan A
C
Charlene P
E
Jackie O
E

Introduction

Welcome to the desert biome! While on your journey through three different deserts, you'll experience a variety of different plants and animals and weather conditions. But, before we send you on your way, you should know some basic information about deserts!
A desert is an area that receives less than 10 inches of precipitation a year, and has very little vegetation due to the extreme climates. There are polar deserts, that are extremely cold, and warm deserts with extremly high temperatures. Even though the climates are extreme, many different organisms can withstand them. If we add all of the deserts together, in total they cover about 30% of the Earth. (Overview)

(1)

The Maudlandia Antarctic Desert

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Hypersaline Lake, Don Juan Pond, Antarctica.
First stop, the Maudlandia Antarctic Desert!
Yes, most deserts have extremely high temperatures, but polar deserts are the exact opposite of that. Antartica is considered desert because their water vapor has been condensed dry. (Allaby) Polar deserts consist of freezing temperatures. Polar deserts lack sunlight for nine to ten months out of the year. Vegetation only grows for about two months a year, during the months where sunlight is not that scarce. Typically, polar deserts are at much higher latitudes than tundra biomes and this makes them even colder. The Maudlandia Antarctic desert is the largest polar desert in Antarctica. The area was once seen as biologically barren until microbiologist visited the desert in the 1700's.
An interesting fact about the Maudlandia desert and other deserts in Antarctica is the salinity. It is one of the most salty places on Earth. Because of the lack of moisture and high winds, hypersaline (salty) lakes form in Antarctica. These lakes, are much more saltier then the world's ocean. Another salty thing in Antarctica is its soil. The soil there has a high salt content. The soil in Antarctica is almost always in a state of permafrost (or constatntly frozen soil). This means you better bring your snow shoes or shoes with picks on the bottom! Its terrian is frozen all over, all year round. (C Michael) Unlike hot deserts, polar deserts do not have sand dunes. They do have snow dunes though. These snow dunes have a heavy rain fall throughout the year, so if you're visiting these dunes make sure you bring your rain coat and umbrella!
(C Michael)

Antarctic Pearlwart

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Antarctican Pearlwart
Antarctica only has two flowering plants. One of them is the Antarctica Pearlwart, which is found mainly on the northern and western parts of the desert. It has white flowers that grow about two inches tall. They have a cushion-like appearance that makes it look much like a type of moss. Not many plants can survive the harsh cold of Antarctica, they have to have special adaptations.
Much of Antarctica's plant life grows on the Antarctic Peninsula, and along the coasts. Because the climate is a bit warmer and wetter here it makes it easier for plants to grow. Only 1% of Antarctica is inhabited by plants. The Pearlwort is considered a vascular plant or a plant that have tissues and tubes that conduct water and minerals that transfer them throughout the plant. They rely on these tubes to transport nutrients and water throughout their stems, roots and leaves. The plant has small white flowers on a long green stems. (Sidney Draggan)


Leopard Seal

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A Leopard Seal
Leopard Seal's are most commonly found in cold climates, such as Antarctica. They weigh and average of 770 lbs and are about 10ft long. (Allaby) The Seal's have a wide spread diet, though, main meal are penguins. They also consume krill, other seals, and fish. They primarily hunt along the coast of the land. A Leopard Seal has very few predators due to the fact that they are top consumers. Leopard Seals can be hunted by the Orca Whales and even Sharks. Face - To - Face With A Leopard Seal
(15. Encyclopedia)

Maudlandia Food Web

Maudlandia Food Web
Maudlandia Food Web

(2)

Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert
The Sahara Desert
Welcome to the Sahara desert in Africa!
This is the largest desert in the world. Bring some sunscreen 'cause you'll get a big old sunburn. While being here you will need sun glasses so the sun won't get in you eyes; also bring a lot of white clothing so you don't attract the sun's rays. Drinking water is necessary, since it is extremely hot in the Sahara desert and you could dehydrate and possibly faint.
There are deserts like the Sahara desert located in Africa; it covers most of northern Africa. It is the third largest desert overall of the other polar deserts. It has many varieties of animals and plants. The Sahara Desert is the hottest place in the world with the temperature reaching up to 57.7 degree Celsius (135.8 degree F). The Sahara desert used to have enough water that people and animals would survive there is so little water to even support vegetation. The Sahara has good scenery with mountains and great wildlife like camels, snakes, rodents, scorpions and many more.

Cactus

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A Pipe Cactus
Yes there are few plants in the hot Sahara, but there are cacti. These cacti have unique characteristics and adaptations that enable them to survive in the extreme climates that the Sahara has to offer. Be careful you can hurt yourself by touching one of these beautiful cacti.
In order for a cactus to survive the extreme heat of the desert, the cactus has to go through the process of photosynthesis in it's stems. The stems are the swollen, green structures, these stems also store water. The size of the stems determines the amount of water that it can store, the bigger the stem the more water it can store. The size of the stems can also determines the amount of water that can be lost due to transpiration.The roots of a cactus are usually short. In larger cacti they have long roots that stretch out horizontally instead of vertically. The roots of a cactus are meant to absorb water at rapid rates. The prickly spines of a cactus protect the cactus from animals that try to steal the water the cactus stores. (4. Biomes)

(Animal goes here)

Sahara Desert Food Web

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Food Web in the Sahara Desert


(3)

The Great Victoria Desert

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This is an image of the Great Victoria Desert located in Australia.
Our final destination on our trip is The Great Victoria Desert!
The Great Victoria Desert is the largest desert in Australia and it's also one of the least populated areas of Australia. It's located on the South Western region of Australia, covering about 160,000 sq miles. According to (Diamantina) the desert was named after Queen Victoria in 1875, by an explorer named Ernest Giles. This desert is one of the largest sand dune desert in Australia. The Great Victoria Desert extends across Australia from the west down to the central parts of the country. The desert receives less than 150 millimeters of rain a year. The temperatures during the summer range from thirty two degrees Celsius to thirty five degrees Celsius. In the winter temperatures reach zero
degrees Celsius. (Encyclopedia)

(plant goes here)


The Great Desert Skink

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A Great Desert Skink
The Great Desert Skink is a lizard, that has rather short limbs, and smooth scales along its body. It's tail is a tad longer than its head and body. It's color ranges from orange to brown, to gray, to yellow. The male is usually heavier in comparison to the female. The skink lives in a complex burrowing system that contains many entrances and exit, they are a meter deep into the ground. The skinks share these burrowing systems with others. Occasionally the skinks will overtake other burrowing systems that belong to other species and make them apart of their own burrowing system. The skinks feeds on termites, cockroaches, beetles, spiders, ants, and sometimes other small lizards. They also feed on plants such as fruits leaves and flowers. The female skinks give birth between the months of December and February, they can have between one and seven skinks at a time. Their life span can reach up to over twenty years in age. (3. Arkive)

Australian Desert Food Web

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Australian desert food web.

Works Cited
1. Allaby, Michael. Deserts. N.p.: Michael Allaby, 2006. Print.2. Allaby, Michael, and Richard Garratt. Deserts. New York: Chelsea, 2006. Print.3. Arkive. Widescreen, 2003. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. <http://www.arkive.org/great-desert-skink/egernia-kintorei/>.4. Biomes of the Earh. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <http://online.factsonfile.com/deserts/chapters/introduction.aspx>.5. Biomes of the Earth Online. Infobase Publishing Web, n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2013. <<http://online.factsonfile.com/RecURL.aspx?did=57331>.>.C Michael Hogan (Lead Author);Mark McGinley (Topic Editor) "Polar desert". In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [First published in the Encyclopedia of Earth November 30, 2011; Last revised Date December 5, 2011; Retrieved March 13, 2013 <http://www.eoearth.org/article/Polar_desert?topic=74361>6. Desert animals. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. <http://www.desertanimals.net/>.7. Desert Climates. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. <. <http://online.factsonfile.com/RecURL.aspx?did=57330>.>.8. Desert Plants. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. <http://www.desertusa.com/flora.html>.9. Deserts. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. <http://Citation: "Overview." Biomes of the Earth Online. Infobase Publishing. Web. 22 Mar. 2013.>.10. Geography of Deserts. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. <<http://online.factsonfile.com/RecURL.aspx?did=57328>.>.11. History and Deserts. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. <<http://online.factsonfile.com/RecURL.aspx?did=57332>.>.Hogan, C. Michael, ed. "Polar Desert." The Encyclopedia of Earth. C Michael Hogan, 5 Dec. 2013. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <http://www.eoearth.org/article/Polar_desert?topic=49460>.12. Life in the Sahara. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <http://www.calacademy.org/exhibits/africa/exhibit/sahara/>. Different facts about the Sahara desert<http://www.buzzle.com/articles/desert-facts.html> http://www.buzzle.com/articles/desert-facts.html13. "Overview." Biomes of the Earth Online. Infobase Publishing. Web. 18 Mar. 2013.14. Sahara Desert. Google Sites, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2013 <https://sites.google.com/site/charlessaharadesert/food-web-and-food-chain>.15. A Southern Migration Adventures in the Southern Hemisphere. WorldPress Dec. 2012. Web. 24 Mar. 2013 <http://asouthernmigration.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/antarctica-lecture-2-animal-life/>.16. The Encyclopedia of Earth. World Wildlife Fund, 21 July 2008. Web. 24 Mar. 2013 http://www.eoearth.org/article/Great_Victoria_desert?topic=74361#gen1.17. The Encyclopedia of Earth. Sidney Draggan Ph.D, 12 Nov. 2008. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. <<http://www.eoearth.org/article/Maudlandia_Antarctic_desert?topic=74361>>.18. The Sahara facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <http://www.livescience.com/23140-sahara-desert.html>. More facts about the animals and climate of the sahara.19. World Builders. Elizabeth Ann Vian, 1999. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. http://www.world-builders.org/lessons/less/biomes/desert/hot-desert-chain.html20. World Wildlife Fund (Lead Author);Sidney Draggan Ph.D. (Topic Editor) "Antarctic Peninsula". In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland http://www.eoearth.org/article/Antarctic_Peninsula