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Desert animals with exceptional survival adaptations

Desserts are the places that are home to some of the most amazing creatures on the planet. These animals survival the harshest environments of these deserts with their nature gifted survival adaptations. For our readers today we bring some of the desert animals that have exceptional survival instincts born out of evolution.

Kenyan Sand Boa:-

Kenyan Boa is one the smallest species of the boa that strict to desert environments. They spend most of their life remaining buried inside sand or under a rock.

Its eyes and nostrils are positioned on head in such a manner that it does not let any sand to enter through these intrusions. They can live without food for almost two years. It has two following hunting methods.

First is that it seizes the passing by prey by simply lying still under the sand. Second method involves killing the prey by grabbing and suffocating it by taking the prey inside the sand. For mating with female boa snake, male boa snake have to dig out the female out of the sand.

Kenyan Sand Boa


Sandfish is actually a lizard species that has high adaption in living in desert environment. Just like its name it can swim through desert sand like a fish swimming inside water. This adaptation allows it to be protected from direct sunlight by being underground and constantly on the move. Its skin is smooth and shiny but does not have slime like fishes as it is a reptile and reptiles have dry skin.


Desert Tortoise:-

Morafka desert tortoise also has an amazing desert survival adaption hidden inside its rock like dry shell that prevents it from dehydration. It has an oversized balder inside its shell which can carry 50 times its original weight worth of urea, uric acid, wastes and water.

In rainy season, tortoises excrete the wasters and urea and store water by drinking in excess, inside their bladders. If they are spooked it can result them to excrete the excess storage of water from sheer fear shock.

Desert tortoise also has feet that are built for easier walking on sand. With these strong feet they also build holes in sand during rains to drink water and storing inside their bladder.

Desert Tortoise

Desert Lizard:-

According to scientific research, Texas horned lizard and Thorny devil are two desert lizards that have strange physiological adaptation in their skin. Their skin prevents any loss of water or absorption of water through skin.

However the Thorny Lizard one of the famous desert lizard has Miniature tube like channels on its skin that absorb water in minute form and channel it towards the lizard’s mouth. After entering the indent of lizard’s mouth, lizard then suck water to survive in the harsh desert. This process is termed as Cutaneous Water Acquisition by researchers.

Desert Lizard


Humans might have the need to drink their own urine for survival but same survival adaptation is found in one other desert animal. The name of this animal is Roadrunner. Roadrunner conserves and uses the water by drawing it out from its fecal wastes whilst inside their body and absorbs it again.

After a meal, digestive system of the roadrunner absorbs the water from the feces of the bird which are inside the excretory cancel. Prior to eliminating the feces from its body, water is reabsorbed by roadrunner via this bizarre physiological process. Water is absorbed by Villi projections of the blood vessels in the intestinal tract. These projections absorb the water and again enter it inside the blood stream.


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