Meaning of Desert.
‘A desert is any place that is largely deserted by plant and animal life. Usually, deserts are characterized by an abundance of sand and a lack of water.’
A desert is an arid demographic region that is characterized by no or little rainfall and only sparse or no vegetation is possible.
Deserts typically have harsh conditions due to unfavorable conditions like water scarcity, permanent frost and absence of soil, etc., and thus harbors adverse living conditions.
Formation of deserts.
Deserts are formed by the effect of wind on mountains. Firstly, the mountains will act as a barrier, preventing the wind from carrying rain over the desert. This makes deserts very dry. Secondly, as the wind hits the rocks of mountains, they will crumble and become sand. This makes deserts sandy.
Usually, deserts are situated far from water. Deserts can form around water, however. When this happens it is because the wind blows hot and dry sand from one location to another, turning the second location into a desert.
Altitude is also an important factors, among others that also contribute towards desert formation.
Deserts in India.
Desert regions in India are segregated into hot and cold deserts. Cold desert in India is limited to Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. Hot desert spreads over quite a large part of North western India and encompasses six states, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Desert climates typically feature low humidity, very little rain and scorching heat during the day. The arid climate in deserts cannot sustain many vegetation and can only grow scanty shrubs. At night, deserts can become freezing cold, however. Winds are also not uncommon in deserts, and the activity of desert winds can help deserts to spread far and wide by picking up the sand of the desert and carrying it elsewhere.
Flora and fauna.
Flora of any desert has succulent plants that adapt to the dry conditions by accumulating moisture in their fleshy plant tissues. Example: Cactus, Rock plants, agave, etc.
Fauna of a desert include only those animals that have special adaptations for their survival in deserts. Animals may have long eyelashes to protect them from the sun, whilst insects may have strong jumping legs that enable them to leap on shifting sands. Cold blooded animals such as reptiles, which love to bask in the sun, are also common inhabitants of deserts. Other examples includes camel, lizards, and eagles.
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