Science11 weird desert animals | Live Science

11 weird desert animals | Live Science


Deserts are not easy places to call home. Broiling in the day, frigid at night, and lacking ample water, these landscapes test their inhabitants. The creatures that call deserts home have adaptations to help them survive and thrive in these harsh conditions. Many of these creatures never need to drink and have skin or scales that enable them to hoard what little water they require; some have evolved to move and be active solely at night to avoid the punishing sun. Here are 11 of the strangest animals found in deserts around the world.  

Fennec fox

A fennec fox (Vulpes zerda). (Image credit: Tambako the Jaguar/Getty Images)

Desert animals don’t get much cuter than fennec foxes (Vulpes zerda). These teeny canids are smaller than domestic cats, measuring 14 to 16 inches (35.6 to 40.6 centimeters) long, not including their tails, but they sport enormous ears that can grow to be 4 to 6 inches (10.2 to 15.2 cm) long. These ears help the foxes shed heat and listen for prey under the sand. When the foxes catch the sound of rodents, insects or other small animals they predate, they use all four paws to dig out their quarry in a shower of sand, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo.



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