Military Sand Dragon
Photograph by Jason Edwards
A military sand dragon poses in the red sands of Australia's Alice Springs Desert Park. Although they are harsh environments, deserts form diverse ecosystems with plants and animals that have adapted to arid living.
Herd of Goats
Photograph by Medford Taylor
Goats manage to find edibles in the seemingly barren terrain of Australia's Simpson Desert. Many farmers raise livestock in the desert, but over-grazing can harm native species.
Photograph by Joel Sartore
Lush fur and watchful eyes help this gray fox survive in the harsh, often cold climate of Chile's Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth. Parts of this desert see rain about once every 10 years.
Photograph by Mattias Klum
Watchful meerkats scout for predators outside their burrow in the South African Kalahari. If danger is spotted, they will alert others using a wide array of vocalizations, which some researchers think differ according to the type of threat.
Photograph by Norbert Rosing
A mountain lion swaggers across an outcropping in Arizona's Monument Valley. Unlike most other desert animals, mountain lions are active during the daytime.
Photograph by Bobby Haas
A gemsbok gallops through the loose sand of Namibia's Namib Desert. Considered one of the world's oldest deserts, the Namib contains sand dunes that reach some 1,000 feet (305 meters) in height.
Photograph by Ted Mead/Getty Images
Sheltered by a titanic iceberg, emperor penguins bask in the Antarctic sun. Emperor penguins survive this harsh environment, where wind chills can reach -75 degrees Fahrenheit (-60 degrees Celsius), by huddling together in large groups to block wind and conserve warmth.
Caravan of Camels
Photograph by Carsten Peter
Tracing a centuries-old route, a caravan of adventurers plies a 1,500-mile (2,414-kilometer) trail through the heart of the sprawling Sahara. The Sahara covers some 8 percent of Earth's land area.
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