As far as our amazing planet is concerned, there are various types of ecosystems with some locations sharing traits with others. It has been the work of scientists to classify these ecosystems into various categories to ensure that we understand them accordingly. Among the most interesting biomes are deserts. They occur on every continent across the world and cover at least 20 percent of the landmass.

Discover interesting facts and information about our world's desert ecosystems and biomes. Find out how animals and plants are able to survive extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions, and what adaptations various species make to their given environments and habitats. Our interesting facts about ecosystems are printable for free and provide a useful guide to schools, teachers and kids.

Interesting Desert Ecosystem Facts for Kids:- Factsmania's Desert Ecosystem facts sheet offers important information about types of animals and plants found in hot and cold desert biomes of the world, the desert food web, and the adaptations and survival techniques of life within the ecosystems of major deserts such as the Sahara, Sonoran, Mojave, and Gobi. Do you know the definition of a desert ecosystem? Did you know that certain species of animals and plants are able to adapt to desert climates? Do you know how hot and cold deserts are classified?

Interesting Desert Ecosystem Facts for Kids:- Our list of Interesting Desert Ecosystem Facts for Kids can be printed for free and provides key facts and info about Desert biomes including the definition, characteristics and traits, animals, plants, structure and formation of a desert ecosystem.

Interesting Desert Ecosystem Facts for Kids

Interesting Facts for Kids 1:- What is a Desert Ecosystem?
The definition of a desert biome is a mass of land characterized by less than 50cm of rainfall per year. If the main form of precipitation occurs from desert rain, it is termed a hot desert while those that receive their precipitation in the form of snow are termed cold deserts. Desert biomes make up approximately 1/5 of the earth's surface.

Interesting Facts for Kids 2:- Types of Desert Ecosystems
Given the varying traits of desert ecosystems, there are four main classifications of deserts namely hot and dry deserts, semi-arid ecosystems, coastal deserts and cold deserts. All four ecosystems meet the specifications of a desert in their own regard. Their levels of desertification, however, differ to a great extent as shall be seen in the sections below.

Interesting Facts for Kids 3:- Hot and Dry Desert Ecosystems
The term hot and dry can be used to describe the most common type of desert in the world and includes deserts such as the Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and others. The main trait of a hot and dry desert ecosystem is the high temperature which makes the summers very hot while the rest of the year is warmer than other locations. In this type of biome, the temperatures range from an average of 23 to 49 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The climate conditions of dry, hot biomes can be difficult for plants and animals to survive but many species are able to do so as they cleverly find ways to adapt.

Interesting Facts for Kids 4:- Semiarid Desert Ecosystem Facts
Among the semiarid deserts of the world are parts of the Great Basin, Montana, and Utah. One main differentiating factor for semiarid deserts is that they only exist in the northern hemisphere of the earth. The temperatures vary from an average of 23 to a high of 38 Celsius and never higher than that. This type of desert ecosystem exhibits very little rainfall especially in the summer when there is none meaning that animals and plants have to find ways to obtain and preserve water in this type of ecosystem.

Interesting Facts for Kids 5:- Coastal Desert Ecosystem Facts
Coastal deserts are a very unique type of biome and can be found in cool areas at the coastal regions like the Neotropical and Nearctic realm. The summers in the coastal deserts record a mean temperature of 20 degrees Celsius while the temperatures of the rest of the range between 13 to 24 degrees Celsius. An example of one coastal desert is the Atacama Desert which is located on the Pacific Coast in South America.

Interesting Facts for Kids 6:- Cold Desert Ecosystem  Facts
Cold deserts occur in the Nearctic realm and the Greenland and Antarctic. In the summer, this type of biome experiences temperatures of between 21 to 26 degrees Celsius while the winter temperatures range from -2 to 4 degrees Celsius. Cold desert ecosystems are generally subject to heavy snow during the winter when compared to other normal areas. Only the most robust species of animals and plants are able to survive the extreme weather conditions of this type of ecosystem.

Interesting Facts for Kids 7:- Characteristics of a Desert Ecosystem
There are many major traits of a desert biome. An ecosystem of this type can be defined by the following characteristics:

Interesting Facts for Kids 8:-Desert Ecosystem Temperature
When defining a desert, the main aspect has been placed on their temperatures since they have extreme temperature recordings compared to the rest of the world. While the hottest temperatures recorded in the hot deserts are 48 degrees Celsius, the lowest in the cold deserts can fall to below -2 degrees Celsius.

Interesting Facts for Kids 9:-Desert Ecosystem Productivity
When talking about productivity in terms of the desert ecosystem, we are talking about net primary productivity which is the rate at which plants are known to store organic matter or energy that has not been used up already in the process of respiration. The few plants in the desert are known to store lots of plants hence a high net primary productivity.

Interesting Facts for Kids 10:-Desert Ecosystem Aridity
Deserts are classified as areas that receive an average of ten or less than ten inches of precipitation on an annual basis. When factors such as when the area receives the precipitation, how much precipitation is received and the soil conditions, the desert conditions stand out as being distinct and easy to pick out from the rest of the ecosystems.

Interesting Facts for Kids 11:-Desert Ecosystem Winds
Owing to the mostly flat nature of deserts, this type of ecosystem can experience a lot of wind compared the rest of the land. Among the factors affecting the winds in the desert are the atmospheric patterns, the local topography, and the quick heating and cooling of the air and the ground during the day and night. It is these winds which contribute largely to the dry effects of the land, something that animals and plants of the desert ecosystem must learn to adapt to in order to survive.

Interesting Facts for Kids 12:- Desert Ecosystem Water Erosion
It may come as a surprise that the biggest erosive force in the desert is water rather than the wind. This is because rainfall is not as regular as other areas but when it does occurs, it is often in violent torrents which wash away lots of soil. The surface also limits water absorption to facilitate even further erosion.

Interesting Facts for Kids 13:-  Structure and Function of a Desert Ecosystem
A desert ecosystem has two main components which serve the various functions which keep the desert in balance with the rest of the world. The two main components are:

i. Abiotic Component
The abiotic part of the desert is anything not living and include the soil in the ground and all its components such as nutrients and other parts. The scarcity of water and organic matter in the soil is also part of it.

ii. Biotic Component
The biotic environment of the desert ecosystem consists of all the living aspects of the desert including the plants and animals. They balance each other out and rely upon one another for coexistence.

Interesting Facts for Kids 14:- What is a Desert Habitat?
A desert habitat can be differentiated from other types of habitats by the traits that set it apart. First of all, deserts are very hot during the day and cold during the night due to the lack of clouds which serve to regulate the temperature in other places. Desert habitats also have very few plants and animals given that the conditions in this type of biome are difficult to support life. Lastly, the plants and animals of the desert ecosystem are often smaller than those in other areas.

Interesting Facts for Kids 15:- Desert Ecosystem Animals
There are various animals in the desert, and they mainly include consumer organisms such as reptiles, insects, rodents, mammals, and birds. They form an important part of the desert biome since they occupy one of the most vital aspects of the desert food chain as shall be seen below.

Interesting Facts for Kids 16:- Desert Ecosystem Plants
The desert plants make up the producer part of the food chain in the desert ecosystem. The plants mostly include small trees, a few types of grasses, bushes and shrubs. These plants are often characterized by smaller leaves and succulent stems which store water. The smaller leaves reduce the surface area by which the plant can lose water through evaporation. Other adaptations made by desert ecosystem plants often include very deep tap roots.

Interesting Facts for Kids 17:- Desert Ecosystem Climate
The climate in this type of biome will heavily rely on the type of desert ecosystem in question. If it is a hot and dry desert or even a semiarid desert, it will be characterized by high temperatures during the day and cold temperatures at night. If we are considering cold deserts, the day temperatures are mostly mild with the night temperatures being very low. Animals and plants have to adapt to varying climatic conditions of their desert ecosystem in order to survive.

Interesting Facts for Kids 18:- Desert Ecosystem Food Chain
There are various main constituents of a desert food chain as shall be detailed in the following sections.

Desert Ecosystem Food Chain: Producer Organisms
Desert producers are mainly plants which include trees, grasses, bushes and shrubs of which the most famous is the cactus plant. Their main role is the conversion of sunlight and ground nutrients into food that can be consumed by other parts of the food chain.

Desert Ecosystem Food Chain: Consumers
Consumers include mammals, birds, rodents, reptiles, insects and other types of animal life found living in this type of ecosystem. These animals form an important part of the food web as they include plant eaters that feed on plants then are fed on by the carnivorous members of the food chain such as eagles and reptiles. The consumers then eventually die out and are acted on the by the decomposers.

Desert Ecosystem Food Chain: Decomposers
Given the low level of vegetation and animal life in the desert ecosystem, the amount of decomposers in this type of food web is very low. Among the common decomposers are fungi and bacteria which are adapted to the desert conditions by being thermophile. They act on dead plants and animals and turn them into nutrients to be used by producers to start the food chain all over again.

Interesting Facts for Kids 19:- Desert Ecosystem in Africa
The African desert biome is made up mostly of dry deserts and semiarid deserts. For this reason, the desert ecosystem on this continent is mostly hot during the day and cold during the night. It is also marked by limited vegetation. The major desert ecosystems of Africa are the Sahara and Namib deserts where plants such as the African Peyote cactus, date palms, tamarisks and acacia can be found growing.

Interesting Facts for Kids 20:- Sahara Desert Ecosystem Facts
As the largest hot and dry desert in the world, the Sahara records very high temperature during the day and very low temperatures during the night. The small amount of vegetation in this desert ecosystem is found around human settlements and oases which are places with water wells in the ground. The coastal temperatures differ little with the inlands in this African biome. Many animals live in the Sahara ecosystem including mammals, reptiles, insects, birds, arachnids and arthropods. The names of some of the most popular types of Sahara Desert ecosystem animals include desert rats, oryx, sheep, addax (white antelope), baboons, hyenas, cheetahs, gazelles, fox, jackals, camels, scorpions, lizards, spiders, snakes, frogs, and birds.

Interesting Facts for Kids 21:- Mojave Desert Ecosystem Facts
The Mojave Desert ecosystem receives about 7 inches of precipitation on an annual basis and has temperatures ranging between 20 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. During the hottest summer months, the Mojave can reach temperatures in excess of 120 degrees. This desert ecosystem is home to various animals such as scorpions, snakes, rats, tarantulas, lizards, toads, Gila monsters, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, deer, bobcats, cougars, pronghorn antelope, desert bighorn sheep, fox, tortoise, owls, hawks, ravens, and Mohave Tui Chub (a fish specie living in the Mojave River). Names of plants found growing in this North American biome include the Joshua tree which is native to the Mojave, and the Prickly Pear Cactus, Triangle-leaf Bursae, Mojave Aster, Creosote Bush and Common Saltbush.

Interesting Facts for Kids 22:- Sonoran Desert Ecosystem Facts
The amount of rainfall received by the Sonoran Desert ecosystem ranges from 3 to 20 inches each year, and the biome is home to many plants including the thorn scrub and semi-dessert grassland. Amongst the varied species of animals living in the Sonoran ecosystem include the Sonoyta Mud Turtle, White-Winged Dove, White-Throated Woodrat, Vultures, Tarantula, Ringtail, Pepsis Wasp, Palo Verde Grub, Mule Deer, Kangaroo Rat, Javelina, Jackrabbit, Harris Hawk, Harris Antelope Ground Squirrel, Gray Fox, Gila Woodpecker, Gila monster, Gambel’s Quail, Great Horned Owl, Elf Owl, Diamondback Rattlesnake, Tortoise, Centipede, Coyote, Collared Lizard, Bobcat, Cactus Wren, Bark Scorpion and Anna’s Hummingbird. Many types of plants can be found growing within the vegetation of the Sonoran Desert ecosystem including the Summer Poppy, Saguaro Cactus, Prickly Pear, Ocotillo, Globe Mallow, Foothills Palo Verde, Flowers and Fruit, Fishook Barrel Cactus, Desert Marigold, Buckhorn Cholla, and Brittlebush

Interesting Facts for Kids 23:- Australian Desert Ecosystem Facts
The average amount of rainfall received by the ten major deserts ecosystems of Australia is 270 mm. The animals found living in this type of ecosystem include the Bandicoot, Australia Desert Frog, Bilby, Perentie, Bearded Dragon, Thorny Devil, Dingo, Camel, Red kangaroo,  and Pig-footed Bandicoot. Some of the most popular plants found amongst the vegetation of the Australian Desert ecosystem include Mulga, Sandalwood, Ghost Gum, Cypress Pine, Wattle, Myall, Emu Bush, Hop Bush, Bluebush, Bullock Bush and Bladder Saltbush.

Interesting Desert Ecosystem Facts for Kids

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