What Kinds of Animals Live in the Desert?

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Many animals make their home in the desert, including bighorn sheep, scorpions, ostriches, kangaroo rats, echidna and camels. Certain animals are only present in specific deserts.

Desert bighorn sheep live in the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts. This animal is very sensitive to land quality, and it is one of the only desert animals to perspire and pant to remain cool.

Scorpions live in every desert in the world. They have a venomous barb at the end of their tails, and African scorpions can grow to be 8 inches long.

Ostriches live in the Kalahari and Sahara deserts. They have a lifespan of 40 years and can run approximately 40 mph.

Kangaroo rats live in the Sonoran, Mojave, Great Basin and Chihuahuan deserts and are some of the smallest desert-dwelling creatures. These rats never have to drink water because they convert the seeds they eat into water and spend the hot desert days underground where it is cool.

Camels live in the Gobi and Sahara deserts. Contrary to popular belief, camels store fat in their humps, not water. When water is available, some camels can drink 30 gallons in around 10 minutes.

Echidnas live in the Australian desert and are one of only two mammals that lay eggs. Echidnas lack teeth and crush ants and other insects between thorny pads in their mouth.