Q.1 : From the first paragraph
(i) pick out two phrases which describe the desert as most people believe it is;
(ii) pick out two phrases which describe the desert as specialists see it.
Which do you think is an apt description, and why?
ANS : (i) Two phrases which describe the desert as most people believe it is:
“dry, hot, waterless and without shelter”
“a flat, unchanging wasteland of dry sand”
(ii) Two phrases which describe the desert as specialists see it:
“a beautiful place”
“home of a variety of people, animals and plants”
The description of the desert as specialists see it is more apt as their description is based on actual studies, and not just on beliefs and assumptions.
Q.2: The phrases on the left in the following box occur in the text.
Match each of them with a phrase on the right.
ANS : (i) an endless stretch of sand ---- nothing but sand as far as one can see
(i) an endless stretch of sand
fertile place with water and plants in a desert
(ii) waterless and without shelter
Not visible because the grass is thick
(iii) an oasis
Nothing but sand as far as one can see
(iv) hidden by a cover of grass
No water and no shade
(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 of grass -- not visible because the grass is thick
Q.3 : A camel can do without water for days together. What is the reason given in the text?
ANS : Camels can do without water for days together. The reason is they retain the water they drink for long periods of time, they sweat very little and can stand high body temperature.
Q.4: How do the smaller desert animals fulfil their need for water?
ANS : The smaller desert animals do not drink water. They burrow underground during the hot day and come out at night to eat. Some of them eat other animals and get the water they require from the moisture in the meat. Others eat plants and seeds, and get the water they require from plant juices.
Q.5: In a desert the temperature rises during the day and falls rapidly at night. Why?
ANS : In humid climates, the moisture in the air acts like a blanket and protects the earth’s surface from the hot rays of the sun. The absence of this blanket in desert lands causes the desert to heat up rapidly during the day and to cool off rapidly at night.