Characteristics of Deserts Game Quiz Online

The Characteristics of Deserts Game Quiz for students in 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grades. This is an online test in which students learn about different aspects related to deserts like their landscapes, ecosystems, temperatures, desert animals and their adaptation to this harsh environment, adaptation of desert plants and more. To answer all the questions successfully, you should consider reading the article below or watching a short video on deserts online. The exercise is done through a fun game that can be used in the classroom or at home to review. Tell us what you think and please share if you like the game.


Online game on deserts and their characteristics.

What it Means to Live in a Desert

A desert is an area where little or no precipitation falls, leaving the otherwise vegetated ground surface exposed to desiccation. Because of the low rainfall, a desert is often barren and lifeless with little opportunity for vegetation. Despite the arid conditions, there is some life in deserts. However, the conditions are usually not very inviting for humans. Let us learn some interesting facts about deserts.

Less than 10 inches of rain per year

In North America, the most arid parts are found in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts. Death Valley, for instance, receives less than two inches of rain per year, with some areas even rainless for years at a time. In contrast, the average annual rainfall in the lower Colorado Valley subregion is just 20 mm (0.78 inches).

In a typical desert, temperatures are relatively warm during the day, but can dip to -3.9 degree celsius at night. Deserts can have high daytime temperatures of up to 38 degrees celsius, with nighttime temperatures dropping to -10 degrees Celsius. Hot deserts have temperatures that reach up to 70 degrees celsius, while semiarid deserts rarely exceed 38 degrees celsius and drop below 10 degrees celsius. Coastal deserts are cooler, with an average temperature of 35 degrees celsius. There are also cold deserts, which are extremely arid and are typically characterized by extreme seasonality. 

In addition to low rainfall, deserts are often characterized by extremely high levels of evaporation. Even with this comparatively low rainfall, deserts can have extreme temperatures that affect the landscape and its vegetation.

Low temperatures

Did you know that the temperatures in deserts are lower than in other parts of the world? This drastic difference is due to the dry air. In a desert, there is virtually no humidity, and the absence of water reduces the ability to trap heat. Warm-blooded animals, like snakes and turtles, can survive on fat protected by their thick fur. Birds and other creatures are able to survive on evaporative cooling. Water transfers heat away from the body through the skin and keeps the body at a comfortable temperature.

The temperatures of the desert are often cold in winter, ranging from -2 to 4 degrees Celsius. During the summer, they can be mild. The average temperature in a desert is around 20 degrees Celsius (69.9 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day. During the night, dew is produced and this dew is equal to the amount of rain that falls in the previous day.

Even light rains evaporate, but sometimes rain storms come in violent cloudbursts that dump 10 inches of water in less than one hour. The low humidity levels in deserts prevent clouds from forming, so sunlight can beat down on a cloudless sky. 

Dry soil

The composition of the soil is different in deserts than in other types of moist places. In deserts, the upper horizon is mostly composed of sand, and contains deposits of salt, calcite, and gypsum. The continent's major Aridisol zones correspond to large tracts of temperate and subtropical deserts, as well as vast areas of Entisol soil. Entisols are a relatively new type of desert soil that form on rocky plateaus, gravel plains, and patches of sand dunes colonized by grasses.

High evaporation

The highest amount of evaporation occurs in deserts. This is caused by the fact that soils in deserts tend to be coarse and allow moisture to evaporate, making them unsuitable for plants. In addition, high evaporation rates contribute to the accumulation of salt, which limits plant growth. This lack of water also limits the size of animal populations and variety. Because of this, desert ecosystems are among the most fragile on earth.

The presence of desert pavement hinders rainfall from penetrating the soil, allowing water to runoff. In addition, cryptogamic crusts hold soil particles in place and fix nitrogen in the soil. Moreover, high evaporation causes the salt to crystallize. The size of crystals will depend on the rate of evaporation.

Flat, stony plains

Some deserts consist of flat, stony plains. These are called desert pavements and are devoid of vegetation during droughts. During times of rain, these plains turn into oases. The stony downs in Australia are similar to the gibber plains in the eastern Sahara. During a drought, these plains are devoid of vegetation, but are quickly transformed into a short-lived herbfield after the rains return.

Some deserts are characterized by high sand dunes, whereas others have low sand dunes. Some deserts are a mix of both types. The differences between the two types of terrain are due to erosional processes. 

Desert soils form in layers. The oldest deposits are called Holocene, and are composed of clay particles. These layers differ in texture and color. Despite their low sand dunes, they contain clay minerals. Their formation takes time, and they are influenced by living organisms. These deposits are younger than Holocene soils, which means that they were formed much more recently.

Nocturnal desert mammals

An example of a nocturnal desert mammal is the lesser bilby. These mammals spend most of their time sleeping and resting in a sitting position, folding their long ears over their eyes. Their keen sense of smell and hearing help them catch prey. These mammals are solitary and live in sand dunes. The bilbies live in spiral tunnels in sand dunes. 

The kit fox, coyote, mountain lion, badger, and 16 species of bats are other common animals in the desert. Most desert mammals are nocturnal, and their presence is a clear indication of the climate's aridity. Other nocturnal desert animals include javelinas and mule deer. During the day, these animals feed on bugs and vegetation.

Nocturnal desert mammals are often hard to observe because they are nocturnal. Some of them are difficult to see due to their lack of colored fur. The most commonly observed desert reptile is the black-tailed rattlesnake; although it is rare to see this animal during the day. 

Plants that thrive in deserts

Fox tail agave, also known as fox tail cactus, is an excellent plant adapted to a desert landscape. The foliage of this desert plant is bluish-green with a red blush at the edges. In full sun, it produces yellow waxy flowers. This succulent plant does not require much care, and the foliage holds moisture well over time. Other names for this plant include fine-leaved nassella, fox tail agave, and fine-stemmed needlegrass. 

The prickly pear cactus is another plant that grows well in a desert. Although it is slow growing, it can grow as tall as 50 feet (15 m). The yellow flowers of this plant add a splash of color to the landscape. This plant can tolerate temperatures as high as 160 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an ideal plant for hot, dry climates.

Cacti, succulents, and wildflowers are all good choices for a desert garden. These plants are easy to care for and are a gardener's best friend. They can grow in just about any climate. Aside from looking great, succulents can also be grown in your garden. You can also find some types of flowering bushes in deserts. A desert garden can be very beautiful and have a wide variety of colors.