Three Animals You'll Find in the World’s Oldest Desert

Discovery Place Science

Journey to the world’s oldest desert in Wild Africa.

The Namib Desert stands out at 55 million years old. It is located along southwestern Africa stretching across Angola, Namibia and South Africa.

The Namib is known for its extremely dry climate. In fact, rain is so rare that most organisms who call this area home rely on unique characteristics and behavior to survive.

Meet three animals who have adapted to the harsh desert climate.

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The oryx is one of the various species that live in the Namib. They have special adaptations that allow them to thrive in the heat. One interesting adaptation is the color of their fur. The fur on their stomach is white, which helps keep their body temperature low by reflecting the heat back onto the sand rather than absorbing it into their skin.

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Web-footed gecko

The web-footed gecko is another animal you’d see in the Namib. They typically are almost translucent in color with salmon undertones and light brown stripes. This coloring helps them to blend into the reddish sands of the desert and stay hidden from predators. They also collect dew on their lidless eyes and face, which they later “drink” to stay cool.

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Desert-adapted elephants (African bush elephants)

Desert-adapted elephants are constantly on the move looking for water sources. Their feet are significantly larger than savannah elephants, which enable them to walk up to 40 miles a day. They depend on their good memory and instincts to locate water. When they reach their destination, they use their large tusks to dig until they reach it.

Meet other fascinating animals from the Namib desert in Wild Africa.

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