|Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert||
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Mojave River Valley Museum
Desert animals, like desert plants, have adapted in very special ways to live in this hot, dry environment. When finding water is a problem, many animals develop ways of living to help them use less water.
Most desert animals must rely on the water that they can find. Most of the time little water is available, so animals have to be masters at keeping cool and saving water.
NocturnalAlmost all desert animals are smart enough to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. They stay deep underground in burrows. There the sand is much cooler, and burrowing animals, like the antelope squirrel, the badger, the gopher, the coyote and the kit fox, sleep while you are playing on the dunes. At night, after the sun goes down and the sand cools off, the animals come out to hunt for food. When an animal is active at night and rests during the day, it is called nocturnal.
DiurnalThere are a few animals that can be seen during the day. Darkling beetles are crawling about, red-tailed hawks are flying overhead, and you might see a whiptail lizard darting past your feet. These animals, active during the day and inactive at night, are called diurnal. Diurnal animals protect themselves from the heat by spending most of the day in whatever shade they can find.
Herbivores, Carnivores and Omnivores
Many animals get their water from the food they eat. Green leaves contain lots of water. The animals that eat only plants, like the cottontail and chuckwalla, are called herbivores. The body of an animal also contains liquid in its blood and tissues. Animals that eat only other animals are called carnivores. The coyote will eat just about anything, plant or animal. That's what makes him a master at desert survival. Animals that eat both plants and other animals are called omnivores.
Also see > Desert Wildlife
Mammals - Predators
Mammals - Prey
Desert Bighorn Sheep
Round-tailed Ground Squirrel
Reptiles - Snakes
Reptiles - Lizards
Mojave Fringe-Toed Lizard
Desert Spiny Lizard
Western Brush Lizard
Birds - Predators
Birds - Scavengers
Tarantula Hawk Wasp