There are many amazing animals that live in the desert. They all have unique adaptations that allow them to withstand the desert heat.
For example, the African desert hedgehog digs a short, simple hole into the stand and burrows into it to stay cool. Similarly, the North African gerbil is a small animal that hides all day and comes out at night to feed on seeds and insects. Because of this, the gerbil can avoid hot daylight hours. Also, this gerbil never needs to drink because it gets liquid from its food.
The kangaroo rat also avoids heat during the day because it doesn't need to drink. It has efficient kidneys that turn some of its food into water. Similarly, camels can last weeks without drinking water. But when a camel does find water, it drinks as much as 22 gallons at one time. Contrary to popular belief, camels do not store water in their humps; instead they store fat there.
The North African fennec fox has distinctively large ears compared to other foxes its size. These ears help the animal get rid of excessive body heat. In contrast, the Pallas cat, which lives in the Gobi Desert, sheds its fir in the summer to maintain a cool body temperature.
These wonderful animals have many clever ways for surviving in the desert. Maybe we can all learn a thing or two from them during the hot Wisconsin summers!
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