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Deserts are harsh environment to survive in, with high temperatures, high evaporation rates, low moisture content and rainfall, etc. In such an environment it is extremely important to locate, obtain and conserve water. Desert plants have a number of adaptations that help them survive in such conditions. Desert plants hardly have any leaves and mostly are characterized by waxy cuticles on their surface. They have extensive root systems, which spread horizontally to get as much water as possible in the short rainfall season that such regions have. The plants are succulent, that is, they can store the water in various parts (stems, roots, etc.). The plant surfaces are also waterproof, to avoid loss of water from their surfaces. Low surface area also helps them conserve water. Many of these plants are spiny or toxic to protect themselves against animals who may try to eat them for food and water.
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