The desert biome has the lowest rainfall of any biome: less than 20 inches per year. Plants and animals have evolved and adapted in different ways to survive such extreme conditions.

Listed below are the plants and animals found on display in the Biomes: Life in the Balance exhibit, one of the many Habitat exhibit series.

Plants

Scientific Name Common Name EOL Web Address Additional Resources
Carnegiea gigantea Saguaro Cactus https://eol.org/pages/483624 https://www.nps.gov/articles/saguaro-cactus-facts.htm
https://www.nps.gov/sagu/learn/nature/how-saguaros-grow.htm
https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=CAGI10
Opuntia engelmannii Prickly Pear Cactus https://eol.org/pages/47134172 https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=OPEN3
Atriplex lentiformis Big Saltbush https://eol.org/pages/586497 https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ATLE
https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/atrlen/all.html
Dodonaea viscosa Hopbush https://eol.org/pages/582326 https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=DOVI
Ericameria laricifolia Turpentine Bush https://eol.org/pages/467556 https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ERLA12
Krascheninnikovia lanata Winterfat   https://eol.org/pages/61834/media
https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=KRLA2
Fouquieria splendens Ocotillo https://eol.org/pages/487543 https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=FOSP2
https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/fouspl/all.html
Agave chrysantha Golden Flowered Century Plant https://eol.org/pages/1083864 https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=AGCH2
Vauquelinia californica Arizona Rosewood https://eol.org/pages/632901 https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=VACA5
Encelia farinosa Brittlebush https://eol.org/pages/850167 https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ENFA
Simmondsia chinensis Jojoba   https://eol.org/pages/47130985/media
https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=SICH

 

Animals

Scientific Name Common Name EOL Web Address Additional Resources
Melanerpes uropygialis Gila Woodpecker https://eol.org/pages/45509736 https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/gila-woodpecker
Micrathene whitneyi Elf Owl https://eol.org/pages/45510743 https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/elf-owl
https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Micrathene_whitneyi/
Centruroides sculpturatus Arizona Bark Scorpion https://eol.org/pages/8542/articles
https://www.nps.gov/articles/bark-scorpion.htm