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Biomes - Habitats
Biomes Calendar
A calendar to print, color, and read.
Arctic Desert Chaparral or Scrub Taiga = Coniferous Forests Grassland Tropical Rainforest Pond Ocean
Antarctic Tundra Cave City Temperate Deciduous Forest Savanna Prairie Freshwater Marsh Swamp Intertidal Zone Coral Reef Sunlit (Euphotic) Zone Twilight (Disphotic) Zone

desert map to label

Deserts of the World

Label the major deserts of the world.
Desert Habitats desert outlinemap

Deserts: Outline Map Printout

An outline map of world deserts to print.

Deserts cover about one fifth (20 percent) of the earth's land area. The desert is a harsh environment with very little rainfall and extreme temperatures; a desert is defined as a region that gets less than ten inches of precipitation per year. Because of these dry conditions, there is limited plant and animal life in deserts. Desert plants (like cacti) are not abundant; neither is animal life.

Some deserts get both very hot (during the day) and very cold (during the night, when temperatures can drop well below freezing). Some deserts, however, are always cold (for example, the Gobi Desert in Asia, and the desert on the continent of Antarctica).

Different animals live in the different types of deserts. Animals that live in the desert have adaptations to cope with the lack of water, the extreme temperatures, and the shortage of food. To avoid daytime heat, many desert animals are nocturnal; they burrow beneath the surface or hide in the shade during the day, emerging at night to eat. Many desert animals do not have to drink at all; they get all the water they need from their food. Most desert animals are small.

Desert Extremes: The biggest desert is northern Africa's Sahara Desert; it covers roughly 3,500,000 square miles (9,065,000 square kilometers). The driest deserts are the Atacama desert of northern Chile, South America, and the Lut Desert in eastern Iran; these extreme deserts get less than half an inch (about 1 centimeter) of precipitation each year - and it is from condensed fog, and not from rain.

Some of the largest deserts in the world:

Type of Desert Name of Deserts Location Animals
Hot Desert Great Sandy Desert, Great Victoria, Simpson, Gibson, Tanami Australia bilby, dingo, kangaroo, marsupial mole, quokka, rabbit-eared bandicoot, etc.
Hot Desert Arabian Desert Arabian Peninsula dromedary, dung beetle, camel, civet, Egyptian vulture, flamingo, fox, gazelle, hare, hedgehog, Arabian horse, hyena, ibex, jackal, jerboa, lesser bustard, lizard, locust, oryx, peregrine falcon, porcupine, sand cobra, scorpion, skink, veiled chameleon, viper, etc.
Hot Desert Chihuahuan Mexico/S.W. USA big free-tailed bat, coyote, diamondback rattlesnake, kangaroo rat, roadrunner, vampire bat, etc.
Hot Desert Kalahari S.W. Africa gazelle, gerbil, ground squirrel, hyena, jackal, meerkat, springbok, etc.
Hot Desert Mojave S.W. USA bighorn sheep, coyote, desert tortoise, jack rabbit, pupfish, sidewinder, etc.
Hot Desert Monte Argentina, South America armadillo, cavy, jaguarundi, puma,tinamou, tuco-tuco, etc.
Hot Desert Sahara North Africa addax antelope, barn owls, cape hare, dama deer, desert hedgehog, dorcas gazelle, fan-tailed raven, Fennec fox, gerbil, horned viper, jackal, jerboa, mouse, Nubian bustard, ostrich, sand fox, shrew, slender mongoose, spiny-tailed lizard, spotted hyena, etc.
Hot DesertSonoran S.W. USA, Mexico barn owl, big free-tailed bat, black widow spider, bobcat, chuckwallas, coati, collared peccary, desert iguana, desert tortoise, dragonfly, elf owl, gila monster, kangaroo rat, pack rat, Mexican gray wolf, mule deer, pupfish, rattlesnake, red-tailed hawk, roadrunner, scorpion, sidewinder, tarantula, turkey vulture, wild burros, etc.
Hot Desert Thar Indian, Pakistan dromedary, great Indian bustard, Indian spiny-tailed lizard, jackal, sandgrouse, etc.
Coastal Desert Atacama Peru, Chile llama, Peruvian fox, etc.
Cold and Hot Desert Gobi China, Mongolia Bactrian camel, beetles, blue hill pigeon, desert wheatear, gazelle, gecko, Mongolian gerbil, jerboa, Gobi bear, jerboa, lizards, onager, Pallas cat, Pallas sandgrouse, Przewalski horse, short-toed larks, snow leopard, wild mountain sheep, wolf, etc.
Cold and Hot Desert Iranian Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan monitor lizard, onager, oryx, scorpion, etc.
Cold and Hot Desert Namib S. W. Africa fringe-toed lizard, golden mole, jackal, sidewinder, viper, web-footed gecko, etc.
Cold and Hot Desert Takla Makan W. China Bactrian camel, jerboa, long-eared hedgehog, gazelle, etc.
Cold Desert Patagonian Argentina, South America guanaco, lesser rhea, mara, pygmy armadillo, tuco-tuco, Patagonian weasel, foxes, puma, hawks, eagles, etc.
Cold Desert Turkestan Middle East Asian tortoise, gazelle, gerbil, saiga antelope, etc.
Cold Desert Antarctic Desert Antarctica Brown skua, penguins, mites, springtails, worms, etc.
Semi-arid Desert Great Basin USA bighorn sheep, jack rabbit, pocket mouse, pronghorn antelope, sage thrasher, etc.

Desert activities to print:

desert map to label

Deserts of the World

Label the major deserts of the world.
desert outlinemap

Deserts: Outline Map Printout

An outline map of world deserts to print.

Desert Quiz
A Worksheet to Print

A short, printable worksheet quiz about deserts. The short-answer worksheet asks 14 general questions about deserts, for example, "A desert gets less than ten inches of ______ per year." Or go to the answers.
Draw Four

Draw Four Things You Would See in the Desert

Draw four things you would see in a desert. Below each item, write its name.

Some desert animals from around the world:

Desert Animals Book

A short book about desert animals to print (for early readers), with letters to fill in. There are pages on the rattlesnake, javelina, coyote, black widow spider, desert tortoise, fennec fox, gila monster, jerboa, pupfish, camel, scorpion, roadrunner, and vulture.


Ants are social insects found worldwide in almost every environment.


Antelopes are graceful mammals with beautiful horns.

Arabian Camel

The Arabian Camel is the one-humped camel (it is also known as the dromedary).

Arabian Horse

Arabian Horses are a distinctive and elegant breed of riding horses that were bred by Bedouins thousands of years ago.


The armadillo is a small, burrowing, armored mammal.

Bactrian Camel

Bactrian Camels are two-humped camels from deserts and steppes of Asia.


Bandicoots are marsupials with pointy snouts.


Bats are the only flying mammal.

Bighorn Sheep

The bighorn sheep is a wild brown sheep from mountains and deserts of North America.


The bilby (also known as the rabbit-eared bandicoot) is a small marsupial with long ears.

Black Widow Spider

A very poisonous spider with a distinctive red hourglass marking.

Blue-tongued Skink

An Australian lizard with a long, blue tongue.

Boa Constrictor

A large constricting snake from South and Central America.


A fierce, short-tailed wild cat from North America.

California Quail

The California Quail (also known as the Valley Quail) is a plump bird with a forward-facing head plume.


Camels are large mammals that live in dry areas.

Collared Peccary

A pig-like mammal, also known as the javelina, from deserts and chaparrals of North and Central America.


Coyotes are meat-eaters related to wolves.


The deer is a shy, fast-moving plant-eater.

Desert Tortoise

A tortoise from southwestern North America.


The dingo is a wild dog from Australia.


Donkeys are hoofed mammals adapted to desert life.


The dragonfly is a flying insect with a long abdomen.


The dromedary is the one-humped camel (also known as the Arabian Camel).


The eagle is a large bird of prey.

Fennec Fox

The Fennec fox is a small, desert fox with very large ears; it lives in the Sahara and in northern Saudi Arabia.


The flamingo is a long-legged bird that eats crustaceans. Flamingos live in a variety of habitats, including warm coastal areas, high, snowy mountains, and near alkali lakes in deserts.


The fox is a meat-eating mammal with a long, bushy tail.


Gazelles live in herds in Africa.


Geckos are the only lizards that make noise. Many geckos live in desert.


The gerbil is a small, long-tailed rodent that is native to dry, sandy areas of Africa and Asia.

Gila Monster

A venomous lizard from deserts of southwestern North America.


Goats are sure-footed, hoofed mammals.

Gray Wolf

Gray wolves are carnivores that live in packs and howl.

Great Horned Owl

A large bird of prey from North and South America.


Hedgehogs are small mammals that can roll into a prickly ball.


Iguanas are plant-eating lizards.

Jack Rabbit

Jack rabbits are hares; they have very long legs and long ears.


A pig-like mammal, also known as the collared peccary, from deserts and chaparrals of North and Central America.


The jerboa is a small, long-tailed rodent that hops.


Kangaroos hop and have pouches. Their babies are called joeys.

Kangaroo Rat

A small rodent from North America.


Llama are woolly mammals from South America.


Mongooses are sleek, meat-eating mammals.


Mice are small rodents with long, scaly tails.


A small wallaby from northern Australia.

North American Porcupine

The North American Porcupine is a mammals that has protective, needle-like quills on its body.


Oryx are long-horned antelopes from dry areas in Africa.


The ostrich is the largest bird. It can't fly, but it runs very fast.


Owls are nocturnal hunters with eyes that face forwards.

Peregrine Falcon

The fastest flyers, who prey upon other birds.


Pikas are small, furry mammals who stockpile food for winter.


Porcupines are mammals with protective, needle-like quills on their body.


Pronghorns are the fastest moving mammals in North America. The Sonoran Pronghorn lives in semi-desert areas.


A long-tailed wild cat with no spots. It is also known as the catamount, panther, mountain lion, and cougar.


A small fish from desert waters of southwestern North America.


The Quokka is a marsupial from Australia, a type of wallaby.


A fast-moving mammal with long ears.

Rabbit-eared Bandicoot

Also known as the bilby, this small Australian marsupial has long ears.


Rattlesnakes are venomous snakes that have a rattle at the end of the tail.

Red Fox

The Red Fox is a meat-eating mammal with a long, bushy tail.

Red Kangaroo

Red Kangaroos are large roos from Australia.

Red-Tailed Hawk

The Red-Tailed Hawk is a bird of prey, a raptor from North America.


Also known as the Ground Cuckoo, this bird is a fast runner that rarely flies.

Roadrunner Read-and-Answer Quiz

Read about the roadrunner, then take a quiz on it. Or go to the answers.


A venomous arachnid with a large stinger on its tail. Found worldwide except in Antarctica.


A long-legged African wild cat.


Sheep are mammals with thick, furry fur and hoofed feet.


Shrews are tiny mammals that are quite ferocious.

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopards are rare, pale leopards from the snowy central mountains of Asia.


Spiders have eight legs.


Suricates (also known as meerkats) are a type of mongoose that can stand upright.


A tarantula is a large, hairy spider.

Valley Quail

The Valley Quail (also known as the California Quail) is a plump bird with a forward-facing head plume.

Vampire Bat

Vampire bats are the only bats that drink blood.

Veiled Chameleon

A chameleon with a helmet-like casque on its head.


The vulture is a large bird with a bald head. Vultures eat carrion.


Wallabies are small to medium-sized kangaroos.

White-Tailed Deer

The white-tailed deer is a shy, fast-moving plant-eater.

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Biomes - Habitats
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Antarctic Tundra Cave City Temperate Deciduous Forest Savanna Prairie Freshwater Marsh Swamp Intertidal Zone Coral Reef Sunlit (Euphotic) Zone Twilight (Disphotic) Zone

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