When you start watching a video of a desert, there are a few types of animals that you expect to see. A few snakes perhaps or some lizards? What you do not expect to see is any fish. Any certainly not a huge shoal, leaping and writhing across each other on the sand with a very small amount of water seeping behind them. Yet, that is exactly what you will see in this video. You may need to watch it a couple of times so that your brain can compute what your eyes are seeing!
Fish in the Desert?
Can this really be true? It seems that it is. We tracked down the original footage from which this clip was taken, and the video notes claim that it was shot in Pakistan during the floods. It seems that the extreme rainfall resulted in water entering a desert region and the fish were at the front of it! It is a very strange sight and looks like something from a biblical movie. There is a stream of millions of fish stretching into the distance and we are not sure what their fate is. We hope they manage to make it back to open water when the floods dry up.
Animals in the Desert
The desert is not an easy place for a fish to survive! It’s not that great for other animals either, mainly because of the high temperatures and lack of water. So, the animals that do make the desert their home have unique adaptations that allow them to survive and thrive.
For example, many desert animals are crepuscular, (including rattlesnakes) meaning that they are active at dawn and dusk when it is cooler. Others are nocturnal and these include skunks who sleep in cool burrows during the day. Some small mammals, reptiles, and insects stay under the surface of the sand in cooler burrows.
Some lizards run very quickly over the hot surface and have long legs to keep their body off the ground. Another tactic is to dissipate the heat and owls do this by opening their mouths and rapidly fluttering their throat region. Others, such as jackrabbits, have long ears to maximize heat loss.
Water retention is also crucial in such an arid habitat. So, desert toads burrow into moist soil but vultures get a lot of moisture from their prey. Also, both reptiles and birds avoid losing water in urine by excreting solid uric waste.
All of these adaptions allow animals to survive in very harsh conditions!
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