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GCSE Plant & animal adaptation -Deserts
No leaves or small seasonal leaves that only grow after it rains
this helps reduce water loss during photosynthesis. These plants conduct photosynthesis in their green stems.
Plants can store water
in their stems or leaves, these are called succulents
Many plants have long root systems spread out wide or go deep into the ground
to absorb water
Short life cycles
some plants germinate in response to rain, grow, flower, and die within one year. These plants can therefore avoid drought.
Leaves with hair
these help shade the plant, reducing water loss. Other plants have leaves that turn throughout the day to expose a minimum surface area to the heat.
to discourage animals from eating plants for water
Waxy coating on stems and leaves
this helps to reduce water loss.
Many plants are slower growing
this requires less energy. The plants don't have to make as much food and therefore do not lose as much water.
Thick fur on the top of the body
for shade, and thin fur elsewhere to allow easy heat loss.
Large surface area to volume ratio
which maximises heat loss.
Large, flat feet
to spread their weight on the sand.
The ability to go for a long time without water
they lose very little through urination and sweating.
A fatty hump
which provides energy in times of food shortages (they don't store water in their humps).
Slit-like nostrils and two rows of eyelashes
to help keep the sand out of their eyes.