plants and animals in deserts

Are there plants and animals in the desert? How do plants and animals survive in deserts?

The plants and animals living in hot deserts have all developed ways of conserving or storing water.

Cactuses and other succulent plants store water in swollen stems and leaves.

Other desert plants have tiny leaves that reduce water loss with spines that protect the plant from grazing animals. Their roots may go down as far as 10 metres to reach the water.

Reptiles are common inhabitants of deserts because they are cold-blooded and need heat if they are to remain active.

Most other desert animals are either small burrowing rodents or birds and animals that hide from the Sun among bushes or rocks at the hottest of the day.