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.


Scientific NameCommon NameEOL Web AddressAdditional Resources
Carnegiea giganteaSaguaro Cactus
Opuntia engelmanniiPrickly Pear Cactus
Atriplex lentiformisBig Saltbush
Dodonaea viscosaHopbush
Ericameria laricifoliaTurpentine Bush
Krascheninnikovia lanataWinterfat
Fouquieria splendensOcotillo
Agave chrysanthaGolden Flowered Century Plant
Vauquelinia californicaArizona Rosewood
Encelia farinosaBrittlebush
Simmondsia chinensisJojoba


Scientific NameCommon NameEOL Web AddressAdditional Resources
Melanerpes uropygialisGila Woodpecker
Micrathene whitneyiElf Owl
Centruroides sculpturatusArizona Bark Scorpion