Since water is a vital resource for every life-form, a limited array of organisms can survive in deserts. Plants and animals in desert habitats have adapted to survive in the harsh conditions of deserts. For example, many of the plant varieties in deserts have no leaves, reducing water loss, and they may have very deep roots to absorb water from deep below the earth's surface.
There are both hot and cold deserts, classified into semiarid, arid, and extremely arid or rainless deserts based on the total annual precipitation.
Although some definitions of the desert also include areas that are too cold to support vegetation, such as frigid deserts, the world desert map shows the distribution of only those areas that are conventionally termed as hot desert and temperate deserts. Polar deserts, which are located over the North and South Pole, are also not shown.
Last Updated On : September 11, 2012