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How Do People Live in Deserts?

How Do People Live in Deserts?

How Do People Live In The Desert? Submitted by: Justyne Gibson Social Studies Fair Project Mrs. Horne – 6th Grade November 9, 2011 Verification Page Written By: Justyne Gibson Typed By: Shea Gibson Social Studies Fair Project Mrs. Horne – 6th Grade November 9, 2011 Purpose The purpose of this paper is to prove that people can live in the desert. I chose this topic because it was interesting. Methodology Step 1: I chose a topic Step 2: I did lots & lots of research Step 3: I wrote my question Step 4: I wrote my title page Step 5: I wrote my purpose Step 6: I wrote my hypothesis Step 7: I wrote my methodology

Step 8: I wrote my research paper Step 9: I finished the paper Step 10: My mom typed it for me Thesis Statement: People can survive and live in the desert. Most people believe that people cannot live in the desert. Let’s see what a desert is to see why many people feel this way. The definition of a desert is “a dry, barren area of land, especially one covered with sand” (American Heritage Dictionary). It is usually a place that gets a very low amount of rain. This report will discuss what kind of people live in the desert and how they can live there. Did you know that deserts cover about one fifth of the Earth’s surface?

Did you also know that there are four major types of deserts? You have hot and dry deserts, semiarid deserts, coastal deserts, and cold deserts. Most deserts, like the Sahara of North Africa and the deserts of Southwestern U. S. , Mexico, and Australia are at low latitudes. Cold deserts occur in basin and range areas of Utah and Nevada and in parts of western Asia. There are four major North American hot and dry deserts. They are the Chihuahuan, Sonoran, Mojave and Great Basin. In hot and dry deserts, the seasons are generally warm during the year and very hot in the summers. The winters do not bring a lot of rainfall.

There is no humidity to block the sun’s rays. Rainfall is usually very low. Sometimes rain starts to fall and evaporates before reaching the ground. The soil texture is course, shallow, rocky or like gravel. It drains well and there is no water on top of the ground. Plants are mainly low to the ground shrubs and trees are short and woody. Animals include small meat eating animals that are active only at night. The dominant animals are burrowers and kangaroo rats. There are also insects, arachnids, reptiles and birds. The major semi-arid deserts include the sagebrush of Utah, Montana and Great Basin.

The summers are moderately long and dry, and like hot deserts, the winters normally have a low amount of rainfall. Cool nights help both plants and animals. The soil can range from sandy and fine textured to loose rock fragments, gravel or sand. The plants in semi-arid deserts are spiny in nature and provide protection in a hazardous environment. During the day, insects move around twigs to stay on the shady side. Jack rabbits follow the moving shadow of a cactus or a shrub. A good example of a coastal desert is the Atacama of Chile. The cool winters of coastal deserts are followed by kind of long and warm summers.

The soil is fine-textured with a moderate salt content. It is fairly porous and it drains well. Some plants have long root systems that are close to the surface of the ground. Some animals have special homes to deal with the desert heat and lack of water. Some insects even lay eggs that do not hatch until the environmental conditions are suitable for hatching. Cold deserts are characterized by cold winters with snowfall and high rainfall in the winter and occasionally in the summer. Cold deserts can be found in the Antarctic, Greenland and the Nearctic realm. They have short, wet, and moderately warm summers with fairly long, cold winters.

The winters get a lot of snow. The heaviest rainfall of the spring is usually in April or May. The soil is heavy, silty, and salty. The plants are widely scattered. In areas where there is shade, about 10 percent of the ground is covered. The main plants are deciduous and have spiny leaves. The animals that live here are jack rabbits, kangaroo rats, kangaroo mice, pocket mice, grasshopper mice, and antelope ground squirrels. Who are the people that live in deserts? The majority of people living in the Sahara Desert or any desert are nomads. Nomads are people that are always moving from place to place.

For their meals, the nomads can only use foods such as rice and dates that they can carry easily while they travel. They also use sheep and camel meat in their recipes because they move with them. They build new homes every time they move their animals to a new place. Another group that lives in the Sahara are the Berbers. Today most Berbers live in Morocco and Algeria. They make up 40 percent of Morocco’s population and 30 percent of Algeria’s population. They live in rural areas and raise sheep and cattle. Now, some have even begun to grow crops. In bigger villages, they live in stone houses but in smaller villages they live n tents or clay huts. Bushman have lived in the Kalahan desert for 20,000 years. They are called the Sun people and are hunters and gatherers. They hunt wild game animals with bows and arrows and gather edible plants like berries, melons and nuts as well as insects. Bushman rarely drink water. They get most of their required water from plant roots and desert melons found on or under the desert floor. They store their water in clean, blown-out shells of ostrich eggs. They live in huts and the frame is made of branches while the roof is connected with long grass. Many people still believe that deserts are places where people can live.

Most agree that you can visit a desert and survive but living in a desert is a different story. I was one of those people until I did research. Deserts are places where people can live and thrive. They have all of the necessary things. Nomads, Berbers and Bushman prove daily that people can live in the desert. They are able to harvest food, such as berries and plants, for food. They are also able to use the sand and grass for shelter. In conclusion, people are able to live in the desert and I feel, anyone can learn how to do so. Conclusion Page After lots and lots of research, I feel I have proven that people can and do live in the desert.

Not only do they survive in the desert, they make their homes there on a daily basis. Bibliography “Deserts. ” The American Heritage Dictionary of The English Language. 4th ed. 2007 “Deserts. ” 2010. http://www. ucmp. berkeley. edu/exhibits/biomes/deserts “People of the Desert. ” 2009. http://ahsd25. k12. il. us/curriculum/africa/desertpeople Credits I would like to give special thanks to Mrs. Horne for pushing me and assisting me to do my best on this project. I would also like to thank my mom, Shea Gibson, for all of her help in showing me how to research, organize and write this paper.