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Desert News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Every week we scour dozens of sources to bring you the latest environmental news for the Desert Southwest. Click a date above to read that day's edition. Want your news included? Email us.

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Desert Facts for Kids

  • There are four true deserts in North America: The Great Basin, Sonoran, Mojave and Chiuhuahuan deserts.
  • The Mojave Desert is the smallest desert in North America, at 25,000 sq mi (64,750 square kilometers). Though the Sonoran Desert has higher average temperatures, the Mojave holds the record high temperature fro North America, with a temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit recorded at Death Valley in 1913.
  • The largest desert in the US is the Great Basin Desert. It covers an arid expanse of approximately 190,000 square miles, or 305,710 square kilometers.
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  • The largest desert in North America is the Chihuahuan Desert. It covers more than 200,000 square miles, or 321,800 square kilometers.
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  • More than one third of the earth’s land surface is covered by near-deserts or true deserts.
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  • Deserts receive less than 10 inches, or 25 centimeters, of precipitation per year.
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  • Desert temperatures can be extreme. In the Tularosa basin, temperatures can reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit, or 43 degrees Celsius, during a summer day and then drop to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 degrees Celsius, at night. That’s extreme! For more info: http://www.nps.gov/whsa/plants.htm
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  • Desert bighorn sheep can survive 10 or more days in summer without drinking. For more info: http://www.desertusa.com/big.html
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  • Sand dunes move? Yes! Grains of sand are moved by very strong, steady winds, measuring at least 15 miles per hour, or 24 kilometers per hour. For more info: http://www.nps.gov/whsa/plants.htm
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  • A thin, surface layer of closely packed pebbles, resembling the texture of blacktop, is appropriately called, Desert Pavement. For more info: http://www.desertusa.com/glossary2.html
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  • Fish That Live in the Desert? Yes! The lungfish, found in Africa, bury themselves in the wet mud, where they can live for months. For more info: http://www.pitara.com/discover/earth/70.htm
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  • Gila Monsters are one of just two species of venomous lizards!
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  • The Darkling Beetle, sometimes called the desert skunk beetle, emits a bad odor for protection. When threatened, it will warn its predator by raising up on its back legs to stick its bottom in the air. Stay back! For more info: http://insected.arizona.edu/mealinfo.htm
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  • The kangaroo rat is a little rodent that eats only dry seeds, and is never seen drinking water. With habits like this, it’s no wonder the kangaroo rat is one of the desert’s best survivors. For more info: http://www.desertusa.com/aug96/du_krat.html
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  • Some desert plants are "nocturnal". Their flowers bloom at night instead of during the day to attract pollinators that sleep while the sun shines.