MNN Galleries

17 animals amazingly adapted to thrive in deserts

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on March 4, 2014, 9 a.m.
snow leopard

Photo: Peter Wey /Shutterstock

7 of 18

Snow leopard

Perhaps one of the most celebrated inhabitants of the Gobi desert, among other areas of inner Asia, is the snow leopard. Its high-altitude home is one of the toughest places to eek out an existence, but the snow leopard does it with grace. Its large chest helps it get enough oxygen from the thin air, while its large nasal cavities help warm the air before it hits the lungs. Its huge paws and extra long tail help it navigate the rocky terrain with excellent balance, and its long, thick coat also helps it get through the freezing temperatures.