What Animals Live in the Kalahari Desert?

Many animals live in the Kalahari Desert, including tremolo sand frogs, giant bullfrogs, rhinoceroses, elephants, wild dogs, meerkats, gemsboks, social weavers, lions, spotted leopards, Cape cobras, puff adders, rock monitors and secretary birds. These animals have adapted to be able to go long periods of time without water or to consume water through eating plants.

The giant bullfrog digs into the ground and remains there in hibernation during the dry season. Its metabolism slows dramatically and it survives on the water already in its body. The meerkat gets the water it needs through a diet of insects, scorpions, roots and tubers. It is able to do so because meerkats are immune to scorpion and snake venom. The dark fur around its eyes helps to minimize the effects of the sun and reduce glare. The gemsbok, a type of antelope, can survive weeks without water and munches on vegetation for liquid nourishment. The lions in the Kalahari are a sub-species that is suited to life there because it has evolved a higher resistance to thirst than that of other African lion species. The social weaver, a type of bird, seldom drinks water. These resourceful birds build large communal nests with insulated walls that maintain a comfortable temperature.