Deserts Painted Desert Az, USA

Climate in the Painted Desert

  • Rainfall
  • Average- 10.53 inches per year
  • Maximum- 18.45 inches per year
  • Minimum- 7.51 inches per year
  • Temperature
  • Average- 55.05°F
  • Maximum- 110°F
  • Minimum- -15°F

The painted desert's temperature varies throughout the year. At the start of every summer, it enters into a monsoon season resulting in larger amounts of rain and thunderstorms. Monsoon season lasts from July to late September. The painted desert gets an average of 10.6 inches of snow per year and a record high of 45.4 inches in one year. The painted desert is made of layers of limestone and clay. The painted desert has main seasons. Summer/Monsoon Season and winter. Winter lasts from November to March, then Monsoon season lasts from July to September and Summer is from May to September. Monsoon season and summer overlap.

Net Primary Productivity

The desert has the least amount of kilocalories per square mile than any other biome. It is also tied for the least amount of rainfall per year with the polar tundra with an average of less than 10 inches per year. Deserts and polar tundras make up 33% of the Earth's land surface.

Soil Quality

Deserts are not farmable.

Invasive and Endangered Species

The red imported ant was accidentally introduced to the Arizona region. They are native in South America. There have been many reports of this species traveling to other countries too.

An endangered species is the flat tailed horned lizard. It is endangered because of population control. There are many predators that eat the horned lizard. They are also endangered from habitat destruction. Agriculture, development and other man made intrusions threaten the flat tailed horned lizard. It is illegal to collect this species now.

Animals in the Desert

Tiger Salamanders can stand it being it too hot, they live underground so if it is too hot they can sleep underground and keep cool. They also sleep during the summer. They also have poison on the end of their tails which helps them to defend predators.

The bobcat has claws which help it climb and to hunt prey. It's fur coat changes colors throughout the season so it camouflages with it's surrounding helping it sneak up on prey and hide.

Collared lizards are able to run on only it's hind legs which make it run really fast. It also has large feet and legs which increases his stride even more. Colors vary depending on surroundings, younger ones have duller colors to camouflage better. Older ones tend to have brighter skin to protect and scare off attackers.

Plants in the Desert

This plant is called banana yucca. It has adapted to live in various regions such as desert, coastal sands, mountains and grasslands. They have hard closed leaves to help maintain water so it doesn't evaporate.

Pepperweed is only found on limestone outcroppings. In the painted desert, there are a lot of these which allows for this plant to grow here.

The camelthorn bush grows a rhizome system which can grow up to six feet into the ground. New shoots of this plant can grow up to 20 feet away. This allows it to spread and stay in place really easily. It also has sharp thorns to keep big predators from eating it.


Created with images by skeeze - "painted desert sand arizona" • USFWS Pacific Southwest Region - "California Tiger Salamander" • skeeze - "lynx bobcat wildlife" • skeeze - "collared lizard reptile portrait" • andrey_zharkikh - "2014.05.01_14.20.52_DSCN0919" • andrey_zharkikh - "2013.04.25_12.59.10_IMG_2794"

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