Animals living in the Desert habitat

A desert is an area that is hot and dry. Temperatures in a desert are very hot during the day and cold at night. Deserts receive little rainfall which makes them unique. The scarcity of rainfall makes the soil dry and means plant life is scarce.

Types of animals living in the desert include birds, mammals and reptiles. Two kinds of birds that live in the desert are ostriches and roadrunners. Some of the mammals who reside in the desert are kangaroo rats, rabbits, squirrels and foxes. A few of the reptiles that live in the desert are a type of lizards called Gila Monsters, rattlesnakes, iguanas and toads. Deserts in different parts of the world have different animals.

The various kinds of animals have their own ways of coping with the heat. Some of the birds are active mainly at sunrise and sunset. Many of the mammals and reptiles sleep during the day.

Desert animals use different techniques to compensate for the lack of water. They may burrow into damp soil so water will be absorbed through their skin. They receive moisture from their food.

Animals living in the desert have developed to meet the challenges of living in a hot place with little water.

Even-toed ungulates

Salt's dik-dik
Red-fronted gazelle
Goitered gazelle
Saudi gazelle
Arabian gazelle
Saiga antelope
Queen of sheba's gazelle
African buffalo
Sahara oryx
Arabian oryx
Bighorn sheep
Roan antelope
Wild yak
Gacela de przewalski
Addra gazelle
Dorcas gazelle
Nubian ibex


Fennec fox
Spotted hyaena
Chilean pampa cat
Afghan fox
Peruvian desert fox
Corsac fox
African lion
Striped hyaena
Chinese desert cat
Jungle cat
Sand cat
American jackal
Black-footed cat
Arctic wolf
Rusty-spotted cat
African sand fox
Eurasian lynx
Wild cat
Black-backed jackal
Bay lynx
Sand fox
Cross fox
African caracal


California leaf-nosed bat
Geoffroy's horseshoe bat
Heart-nosed bat
Lesser mouse-tailed bat
African sheath-tailed bat
Midas free-tailed bat
Egyptian slit-faced bat
Naked-rumped tomb bat
Botta's serotine
Ethiopian large-eared roundleaf bat
Horn-skinned bat
Trident bat
Namib long-eared bat
Southern long-nosed bat
Rüppel's pipistrelle

Dasyuroid marsupials and marsupial carnivores

Banded anteater

American marsupials

Grayish mouse opossum


Rock dassie


Bushveld elephant shrew
North african elephant shrew
Somali elephant shrew
Round-eared elephant shrew

Marsupial moles

Northern marsupial mole
Marsupial mole

Bandicoots and bilbies


Horses, rhinoceroses, and tapirs

Black rhinoceros


Hamadryas baboon


African elephant


Four-striped grass mouse
Five-toed pygmy jerboa
Gerbil mouse
Pouched mouse
Sundevall's jird
Mearns's pouched mouse
Libyan jird
Thick-tailed pygmy jerboa
Phillips's mouse
Desert pocket gopher
Heptner's pygmy jerboa
Texas pocket gopher
Gray glimbing mouse
Kozlov's pygmy jerboa
Tropical pocket gopher
Cape short-eared gerbil
Thomas's pygmy jerboa
Hairy-footed gerbil
Mohave ground squirrel
Namib brush-tailed gerbil
Texas kangaroo rat
Flower's gerbil
Dune hairy-footed gerbil
San quintin kangaroo rat
Giant kangaroo rat
Cairo spiny mouse
Lesser egyptian gerbil
Bushy-tailed hairy-footed gerbil
Fresno kangaroo rat
Cape gerbil
Mackillingin's gerbil
Mauritanian gerbil
San jose island kangaroo rat
Namaqua rock rat
Highveld gerbil
Baluchistan gerbil
Pleasant gerbil
Margarita island kangaroo rat
Gobi jerboa
Bushveld gerbil
Pale gerbil
Anderson's gerbil
Dallon's gerbil
Euphrates jerboa
Greater egyptian gerbil
Somalia gerbil
Iranian jerboa
Somalian gerbil
Olrog's chaco mouse
Tarabul's gerbil
Yellow steppe lemming
Waters's gerbil
Fat-tailed gerbil
Long-eared jerboa
Bucharian vole
Littledale's whistling rat
Greater fat-tailed jerboa


Screaming hairy armadillo
Large hairy armadillo
Lesser fairy armadillo

Read more at the list of biomes of the world...
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