Weird Nature
2.5k voters

25+ Desert Creatures That Have Adapted To Extreme Conditions

Updated June 24, 2020 14.6k votes 2.5k voters 110.0k views28 items

They are some of the harshest environments on earth, but deserts are still teeming with life and desert animals that have adapted to extreme conditions. To conserve water, a lot of animals don't urinate and most don't even drink water - they extract moisture from the plants and creatures they eat. What animals live in the desert? There are all kinds of desert creatures that are super cool, even if their habitats are hot as blazes.

The sidewinder rattlesnake beats the heat by moving in a way so that only a small part of its body is touching the scorching sand at any given time. The fennec fox has large ears to dissipate body heat. Other animals decide to hide during the day and sleep, coming out to feed at night, when it's cooler. There is even a type of beetle that pulls precious early morning moisture from the sand and gulps a big drop for a day's work.

It's hot out there, but these animals are so cool for finding unique ways to live in the desert? Which on this desert animals list is the coolest? The fearsome Gila monster? The adorable meerkat? The I-can't-believe-it's-real camel spider? Vote up your favorite desert denizens and learn even more about the desert biome.

  • 1


    The roadrunner can live its whole life without taking a drink of water. A lot of desert animals do not urinate, and the roadrunner is one of them, excreting salt through a gland near its eyes.
    Is this cool?
  • 2

    Thorny Devil

    This Australian lizard has developed adsorbent skin that can pull moisture out of the air. Its face is even designed so moisture condenses and rolls into its mouth for it to drink.
    Is this cool?
  • 3

    Spiny Mouse

    The cool thing about these desert rodents is that their thin skin can close quickly after a wound in a process called contraction. Their skin regenerates quickly, which means that they can recover from small wounds quickly and minimize blood - and water - loss.
    Is this cool?
  • 4

    Horned Viper

    Photo: Zuhair Amr / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 3.0
    These Saharan desert snakes are as deadly as they look. Their bite is extremely painful, their venom is powerful, and those horns just make it look even meaner. 
    Is this cool?