APR 20, 2020 11:21 AM PDT

How Sand Cats Survive in the Harsh Desert Environment

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

The sand cat is a type of feline that spends nearly all its life in the desert. While they may not look that much different from an ordinary house cat at first glance, a closer look reveals just how well-built these animals are to survive in such a punishing environment.

Small and nimble, the humble sand cat treads lightly by night and sleeps away in the shade by day. They take full advantage of their special fur coat to insulate them from the extreme cold at night and the extreme heat in the day. This same fur also covers the sand cat’s footpads, which protects them from being burnt by the scolding sands around them.

Sand cats take fully advantage of the cool night to go on long food scavenges. There aren’t many creatures that like to live in the desert, and sand cats know this, which is why they’ll eat just about anything they can get their paws on. In the most common cases, sand cats use their incredible sense of hearing to pick up low frequency noises from insects and rodents, each of which also roam the desert at night.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, finding a mate in the desert can be a real struggle. Sand cats don’t generally live in groups, and at times, the nearest specimen can be nearly eight miles away. These cats use their incredible sense of hearing to call out to one another, and if they’re lucky, they just may hear back from another.

Sand cats are particularly elusive, and for that reason, we still know very little about them. Future research, however, just might help researchers uncover more about their behavior and lifestyle.

Related: Meet and learn more about the world's smallest cat

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 05, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Drop in CO2 Linked to Climate Change 34 Million Years Ago
AUG 05, 2021
Drop in CO2 Linked to Climate Change 34 Million Years Ago
A decline in the concentration of atmospheric CO2 drove the Earth’s climate to change from warm to ice-cold around ...
AUG 09, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Muscle Cells Revealed Contracting at the Subcellular Level
AUG 09, 2021
Muscle Cells Revealed Contracting at the Subcellular Level
Muscle cells were once thought to be the smallest units that experienced contraction. But new research has suggested tha ...
AUG 12, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Cultivation Negatively Impacts the Environment
AUG 12, 2021
Cannabis Cultivation Negatively Impacts the Environment
Cannabis cultivation may have several damaging effects on the environment. The corresponding study was published in the& ...
AUG 17, 2021
Plants & Animals
Neandertal genome gives insight into their social structure
AUG 17, 2021
Neandertal genome gives insight into their social structure
A new study sequenced Neandertal DNA, revealing the first father-daughter pair and other clues about social life.
SEP 14, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Record Activist Murders and Illegal Logging
SEP 14, 2021
Record Activist Murders and Illegal Logging
Last year, 2020, was the deadliest year for conservation activists. According to Global Witness, 227 environmental ...
SEP 19, 2021
Plants & Animals
Glowing Gophers? Bioluminescence Discovered in These Rodents
SEP 19, 2021
Glowing Gophers? Bioluminescence Discovered in These Rodents
Though people need an ultraviolet light to see it, bioluminescence can be found in a variety of creatures, like squid or ...
Loading Comments...