(NCERT Pages 16 and 17)
- From the first paragraph
(i) Pick out two phrases which describe the desert as most people believe it is.
Ans. “The popular belief is that it is an endless stretch of sand where no rain falls and therefore, no vegetation grows.”
(ii) Pick out two phrases which describe the desert as specialists see it,
Which do you think is an apt description and why?
Ans. “The desert can be a beautiful place. It is the home of a variety of people, animals and plants that have learnt to live under very hot and dry conditions.” The apt description of the desert has been given by the specialists. The popular belief is based on hearsay.
People may have or have not been to the desert and studied its climatic occurrences before having formed this opinion. The specialists, on the other hand, have looked at the entire ecology in the desert before stating their beliefs.
- The phrases on the left in the following box occur in the text. Match each of them with a phrase on the right.
(i) an endless stretch of sand • fertile place with water and plants in a desert
(ii) waterless and without shelter • not visible because the
(iii) an oasis • nothing but sand as far as one can see
(iv) hidden by a cover of grass • no water and no shade
(i) an endless stretch of sand • nothing but sand as far
(ii) waterless and without shelter • no water and no shade
(iii) an oasis • fertile place with water and plants in a desert
(iv) hidden by a cover • not visible because the grass is thick
CHECK (NCERT Page 19)
- A camel can do without water for days together. What is the reason given in the text?
Ans. As per the text, a camel can survive without water for several days because it does not sweat much. Unlike humans, a camel does not need to regulate its body temperature through sweating. Therefore, it loses less water.
Also, the camel can consume a greater quantity of water in a go.
- How do the smaller desert animals fulfil their need for water?
Ans. The smaller desert animals remain in their burrows during the day. Thereby, they avoid the exposure to heat which could result in loss of water. Furthermore, they consume other animals or plants and the moisture from meat and plant juices, respectively supplements their need for water.
- In a desert the temperature rises during the day and falls rapidly at night. Why?
Ans. In a desert the temperature rises during the day and falls rapidly at night because of the absence of moisture in the air.
The moisture in the air usually acts as a protective blanket and protects the Earth. However, in the deserts this is not the case. Therefore, the rapid rise and fall in the temperature.
Exercises (NCERT Page 19)
Do the following activities in groups.
- Describe a desert in your own way. Write a paragraph and read it aloud to your classmates.
Ans. A desert is a large area of barren land where rains hardly occur. The scarcity of water makes the land infertile, thereby making the scope for vegetation limited. A desert is also characterised by harsh climatic conditions like extremely hot temperature, rapid rise and fall of temperature during day and night and so on. The harsh weather conditions make the habitat hostile for animal and human existence
The real beauty of desert is the ship of the desert, the camel. The camel can survive and sustain itself easily in the extreme weather conditions of the desert. The cactus is another wonder found in the desert. The thick stems of the cactus can store water for a long time. The camel and the cactus are the best examples of how natural life can adapt itself to adversities.
- Go to the library and collect information about the lifestyle of people in desert areas-their foods, clothes, work, social customs etc. Share this information with the group.
Ans. The people living in deserts usually lead a nomadic life. They move from one place to another in search of water. In places where water is found, these nomads irrigate the land and set-up their tents.
Once the water depletes in that area, these people move along with their cattle and other household goods to another place where water could be found.
The people living in deserts, therefore, are usually cattle bearers who also do some vegetation.