Animals of the desert include camels, gazelles, scarab beetles, antelope, scorpions, sidewinder snakes and more. Desert biomes include small mammals, such as mice and rodents, along with larger animals and birds. Ostriches make their homes in deserts, as do foxes and jerboas, which are small rodents adapted for desert life.
Desert animals, like other habitat-specific creatures, have unique adaptations making them suited for their environments. Fennec foxes are relatively small and lightweight, which helps them stay cool in the desert sun. Large ears help them hear and also remove excess body heat. Larger mammals, including antelopes and gazelles, thrive in deserts too. Antelopes, found in the Sahara, have flat feet, which help them cross long stretches of sand. Gazelles are small and slender, and can run quickly, which helps them escape predators. Camels, although larger, can survive long periods of time without food and water, as they store excess fat in their humps, which provides fuel in times of scarcity.
Reptiles are also common in deserts. Sidewinder snakes move sideways, which helps them travel across sand quickly and easily. Deserts are also home to death stalker scorpions, among the most venomous in the world, and monitor lizards.
Desert birds, in addition to the ostrich, include roadrunners, which survive by conserving energy and feeding on moisture-rich foods, and Gila woodpeckers, which have long beaks for extracting water.