• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


1A2_2013 Group 3 - Desert

Page history last edited by 2013class1a2group3 11 years, 2 months ago

Team members




In this section, include a brief description of the allocated ecosystem. You should include the following information:

Location of the ecosystem-Some of the deserts are located at North Africa, Mongolia-China, Southern Africa and Australia.

Description of ecosystem-

Biodiversity of ecosystem (richness of life in ecosystem)-A Hot and Dry Desert is, as you can tell from the name, hot and dry. Most Hot and Dry Deserts don't have very many plants but they do have some low down plants though. The only animals they have that can survive have the ability to burrow under ground. This is because they would not be able to live in the hot sun and heat. They only come out in the night when it is a little cooler.A cold desert is a desert that has snow in the winter instead of just dropping a few degrees in temperature like they would in a Hot and Dry Desert. It never gets warm enough for plants to grow. Just maybe a few grasses and mosses. The animals in Cold Deserts also have to burrow but in this case to keep warm, not cool. That is why you might find some of the same animals here as you would in the Hot and Dry Deserts.

Physical Factors

Search the Internet for information on the following physical factors in the allocated ecosystem. 

  • Light: Intense sunlight and heat

  • Temperature: Hot Desert: 20 to 25ºC (Average Temperature) 43.5 to 49ºC (Extreme Maximum Temperature)
                           Cold Desert: -2 to 4ºC (During Winter) 21 to 26ºC (During Summer)

  • Water: Water is scarce in the desert

  • Air: Air pollution causes global warming; and as a result of global warming, desert margins expand. Global warming causes climate change. In deserts, the temperature increases significantly and because of this, the desert will become drier and sandier. Rangelands will be turned into deserts. Air pollution can cause filthy air particles to move across long distances in the air. When the particles, including gases like nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide mix with rain, acid rain is formed. Acid rain damage components of the natural environment, including plants and affect the eco-system.





Classification of Living Organisms

Classify at least eight of the living organisms found in the allocated ecosystem into the categories below:

  1. Producers-water,cactus, Trees, shrubs, wildflowers, grasses,sage brush,ocotillo

  2. Primary Consumers-lizards,kangaroos,rats,rodents,,crocroach,ant, bugs and Blister Beetle

  3.  Small Carnivores - snakes, insect-eating lizards, tarantualas,fox,scorpio,mongoose and rattle snake

  4. Tertiary Consumers- Mountain lions, coyotes, snakes, hawks, mongoose, kit fox, Elf Owl, Tiger

  5. Decomposers-milipites.worms.mushrooms,fungi,ferns.dung beetel and bacterial 

For each of the living organism, find a picture and write a short description on the organism. You may wish to include feeding habits, region in the ecosystem where it is normally found etc. 

 File:Kangaroo and joey03.jpg

Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs, large feet adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance, and a small head. Like most marsupials, female kangaroos have a pouch called a marsupium in which joeys complete postnatal development.

Larger kangaroos have adapted much better   to changes brought to the Australian landscape by humans and though many of their smaller cousins are endangered, they are plentiful. They are not farmed to any extent, but wild kangaroos are shot for meat, leather hides, and to protect grazing land for sheep and cattle. Although there is some controversy, harvesting kangaroo meat has many environmental and health benefits over traditional meats.Kangaroos are herbivores, which means they enjoy a primarily vegetarian diet. They have chambered stomachs, similar to sheep and cattle. This means that after they eat something the first time, they regurgitate it and chew on it before swalling it again. It is then digested for good.

They often eat at night, grazing on spants and grass. In the cooler months of the year, they will come out to feed during the day as well. Kangaroos will eat shoots and leaves from shrubs and grass trees. The time they spend grazing varies by the season, but ranges from anywhere between seven and fourteen hours.

Kangaroos drink water, but do not require a great deal of it because they are nourished by the plants they eat. They are capable of going four months without any water. Lack of nutrition can be a cause for death, but most often occurs with the young that do not have body reserves.


 Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales. Many species of snakes have skulls with many more joints than their lizard ancestors, enabling them to swallow prey much larger than their heads with their highly mobile jaws. To accommodate their narrow bodies, snakes' paired organs (such as kidneys) appear one in front of the other instead of side by side, and most have only one functional lung. Some species retain a pelvic girdle with a pair of vestigial claws on either side of the cloaca.Snakes capture various animals as prey. Many species eat only certain types of prey. Some hognose snakes, for example, eat almost exclusively toads of the genus Bufo. Water snakes prey mostly on fishes and frogs, and the tree-climbing rat snakes eat mainly birds and bird eggs. Rattlesnakes eat mainly small mammals such as rodents.



Tigers are the largest existing members of the cat family, after the liger (only lives in captivity.) Tigers live only in Asia, in which they once roamed all across, from the islands of Java, Bali, Sumatra, to the freezing taigas of Siberia. Tigers are famous for their thick, orange-tawny coats, gleaming amber-gold eyes, black to rich brown stripes, and long, whip-like tail.

These cats have the longest canine teeth of any land mammal, sometimes three to four inches long,. Like most cats, with the exception of the cheetah, tigers have retractable claws, keeping them extremely sharp for battle and gripping, having the ability to sheath and unsheathe them when need be. A tiger has an orange-brown coat with stripes, except for the genetic mutated white tigers and golden tabby tigers, now only existing in captivity, with only around 200 white tigers, and only 30 golden tabbies. Tigers, depending on the subspecies and gender, can be from seven feet long to thirteen feet long from nose to tail tip, the tail being sometimes more than four feet long, and anywhere from three hundred to eight hundred pounds, males generally more massive and longer than females (the largest recorded tiger was a male Amur weighing 1025 pounds.) The tail of a tiger is used in communication. A tiger with a held up, wagging tail is happy, a tail at body height wagging means a tiger is excited. When a tiger twitches its tail between its legs-watch your step! Tigers have golden-amber eyes (white ones are either ice-blue, green, and sometimes amber) with a type of third eyelid, and, while color blind, have night vision six times better than a humans, sensitive and acute hearing, and an OK sense of smell. The ears have white bull’s eyes on the back of them, so a mother with cubs can see.


Rattlesnakes are a group of venomous snakes of the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus of the subfamily Crotalinae ("pit vipers"). There are 32 known species of rattlesnake, with between 65-70 subspecies, all native to the Americas, ranging from southern Alberta and southern British Columbia in Canada to Central Argentina.

Rattlesnakes are predators who live in a wide array of habitats, hunting small animals such as birds and rodents. They kill their prey with a venomous bite, rather than by constricting. All rattlesnakes possess a set of fangs with which they inject large quantities of hemotoxic venom. The venom travels through the bloodstream, destroying tissue and causing swelling, internal bleeding, and intense pain. Some species, such as the Mojave Rattlesnake, additionally possess a neurotoxic component in their venom that causes paralysis and other nervous symptoms.

Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids (slightly smaller than a medium-sized domestic dog), characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail (or brush).

Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to the Vulpes genus of "true foxes". By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), although various species are found on almost every continent. The presence of fox-like carnivores all over the globe, together with their widespread reputation for cunning, has contributed to their appearance in popular culture and folklore in many societies around the world (see also Foxes in culture). The hunting of foxes with packs of hounds, long an established pursuit in Europe, especially the British Isles, was exported by European settlers to various parts of the New World.

The Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi) is a member of the owl family Strigidae, that breeds in the southwestern United States and Mexico. It is the world's lightest owl, although the Long-whiskered Owlet and the Tamaulipas Pygmy Owl are of a similarly diminutive length. The mean body weight of this species is 40 grams (1.4 oz). These tiny owls are 12.5 to 14.5 cm (4.7-5.5 in) long and have a wingspan of about 27 cm (10.6 in)Their primary projection extends nearly past their tail. They have fairly long legs and often appear bow-legged. They can often be heard calling to one another just after dusk or at sunset. Their call is a high-pitched whinny or chuckle. The male and female dart around trees and call back and forth.

Lizards are a widespread group of squamate reptiles, with more than 5600 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica, as well as most oceanic island chains. The group, traditionally recognized as the suborder Lacertilia, is defined as all extant members of the Lepidosauria (reptiles with overlapping scales) that are neither sphenodonts (i.e., tuatara) nor snakes – they form an evolutionary grade. While the snakes are recognized as falling phylogenetically within the Toxicofera clade from which they evolved, the sphenodonts are the sister group to the squamates, the larger monophyletic group, which includes both the lizards and the snakes.

Lizards typically have feet and external ears, while snakes lack both of these characteristics. However, because they are defined negatively as excluding snakes, lizards have no unique distinguishing characteristic as a group. Lizards and snakes share a movable quadrate bone, distinguishing them from the sphenodonts, which have more primitive and solid diapsid skulls. Many lizards can detach their tails to escape from predators, an act called autotomy, but this ability is not shared by all lizards. Vision, including color vision, is particularly well developed in most lizards, and most communicate with body language or bright colors on their bodies, as well as with pheromones.

The adult length of species within the suborder ranges from a few centimeters for chameleons such as Brookesia micra and geckos such as Sphaerodactylus ariasae to nearly 3 m (9.8 ft) in the case of the largest living varanid lizard, the Komodo dragon. Some extinct varanids reached great size. The extinct aquatic mosasaurs reached 17 m (56 ft), and the giant monitor Megalania is estimated to have reached perhaps 7 m (23 ft).

Food Web 

Create a food web using at least eight of the living organisms listed above. You may wish to use Microsoft PowerPoint to create your food web. Save your food web as a picture. Finally copy and paste your picture in this section of your wiki. 




Interrelationship in Ecosystem

Give at least one example for each of the following relationships in the ecosystem:

  1. Predator-prey relationship- eaten by snake 

  2. Parasitism- Fleas on a Kangaroo Rat

  3. Mutualism- Bees pollinating cacti flower



Useful Links

Plagarism is a strongly discouraged.


Include the links of all websites you obtained information from to complete your ecology wiki. 

For example:

Wild World @ nationalgeographic.com ( http://www.nationalgeographic.com/wildworld/terrestrial.html ) 






Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.