NCERT Textbook: Chapter 9 - Desert Animals, English, Class 6 Class 6 Notes | EduRev

English Class 6

Created by: Gunjan Lakhani

Class 6 : NCERT Textbook: Chapter 9 - Desert Animals, English, Class 6 Class 6 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


112 HONEYSUCKLE
1. DESERTS are the driest places on earth
and sometimes go for months, or even
years, without rain. But even the desert
animals cannot survive without water,
or for long periods in the scorching sun,
so they have had to find different ways
of coping with the harsh conditions. For
example, gerbils spend the hottest part
of the day in cool underground burrows.
And strange insects called darkling
beetles are experts at catching drops of
moisture on their legs, then lifting them
into the air until the drops trickle down
into their mouths. Not all deserts are
endless seas of rolling sand dunes.
Some are rocky or pebbly and dotted
with small bushes while others ar e
sprinkled with colourful flowers during
the spring.
2. There are more than 2300 different
kinds of snakes around the world,
ranging from just fifteen centimetres
long to more than eleven metres. Most
snakes are quite harmless — but there
scorching: very hot
gerbils: mouse-like
desert rodents with
long hind legs
dunes: heaps of
sand formed by
the wind
pebbly: stony
Before you read
Can you name some desert areas in India and the
world? Who do you think lives in such areas?
Desert Animals Desert Animals
9
2018-19
Page 2


112 HONEYSUCKLE
1. DESERTS are the driest places on earth
and sometimes go for months, or even
years, without rain. But even the desert
animals cannot survive without water,
or for long periods in the scorching sun,
so they have had to find different ways
of coping with the harsh conditions. For
example, gerbils spend the hottest part
of the day in cool underground burrows.
And strange insects called darkling
beetles are experts at catching drops of
moisture on their legs, then lifting them
into the air until the drops trickle down
into their mouths. Not all deserts are
endless seas of rolling sand dunes.
Some are rocky or pebbly and dotted
with small bushes while others ar e
sprinkled with colourful flowers during
the spring.
2. There are more than 2300 different
kinds of snakes around the world,
ranging from just fifteen centimetres
long to more than eleven metres. Most
snakes are quite harmless — but there
scorching: very hot
gerbils: mouse-like
desert rodents with
long hind legs
dunes: heaps of
sand formed by
the wind
pebbly: stony
Before you read
Can you name some desert areas in India and the
world? Who do you think lives in such areas?
Desert Animals Desert Animals
9
2018-19
DESERT ANIMALS 113
voles: small
plant-eating
rodents
chipmunks: small
ground squirrels
having light and
dark stripes
are a few that ar e so
poisonous they can kill a
human being with just one
bite. Most snakes lay eggs,
but there are many which
give birth to their young.  In
the dry, rocky deserts of
America lives a rather evil-
looking snake with a very bad
reputation. Its frightening
rattle can be heard as far as
thirty metres away, and it can strike
with lightning speed.
3. But the rattlesnake, or ‘rattler’ as it
is sometimes called, prefers to avoid
people if it possibly can.  It holds its tail
upright and rattles the end whenever it
is disturbed, in the hope that the
intruder will go away. However, if its
warnings are ignored—and it feels
threatened—it will coil ready to bite. But
the rattler itself cannot hear the noise
its own tail makes.  Like most snakes,
it ‘hears’ things through vibrations in
the ground. If a person walks nearby
the snake can feel the movement. But if
the same person were to shout, it would
not hear a thing. Rattlesnakes are very
common and widespread animals, living
right across the American continent
from Canada to Argentina.  They feed
on a variety of prey, including mice,
voles, rats, chipmunks and many other
2018-19
Page 3


112 HONEYSUCKLE
1. DESERTS are the driest places on earth
and sometimes go for months, or even
years, without rain. But even the desert
animals cannot survive without water,
or for long periods in the scorching sun,
so they have had to find different ways
of coping with the harsh conditions. For
example, gerbils spend the hottest part
of the day in cool underground burrows.
And strange insects called darkling
beetles are experts at catching drops of
moisture on their legs, then lifting them
into the air until the drops trickle down
into their mouths. Not all deserts are
endless seas of rolling sand dunes.
Some are rocky or pebbly and dotted
with small bushes while others ar e
sprinkled with colourful flowers during
the spring.
2. There are more than 2300 different
kinds of snakes around the world,
ranging from just fifteen centimetres
long to more than eleven metres. Most
snakes are quite harmless — but there
scorching: very hot
gerbils: mouse-like
desert rodents with
long hind legs
dunes: heaps of
sand formed by
the wind
pebbly: stony
Before you read
Can you name some desert areas in India and the
world? Who do you think lives in such areas?
Desert Animals Desert Animals
9
2018-19
DESERT ANIMALS 113
voles: small
plant-eating
rodents
chipmunks: small
ground squirrels
having light and
dark stripes
are a few that ar e so
poisonous they can kill a
human being with just one
bite. Most snakes lay eggs,
but there are many which
give birth to their young.  In
the dry, rocky deserts of
America lives a rather evil-
looking snake with a very bad
reputation. Its frightening
rattle can be heard as far as
thirty metres away, and it can strike
with lightning speed.
3. But the rattlesnake, or ‘rattler’ as it
is sometimes called, prefers to avoid
people if it possibly can.  It holds its tail
upright and rattles the end whenever it
is disturbed, in the hope that the
intruder will go away. However, if its
warnings are ignored—and it feels
threatened—it will coil ready to bite. But
the rattler itself cannot hear the noise
its own tail makes.  Like most snakes,
it ‘hears’ things through vibrations in
the ground. If a person walks nearby
the snake can feel the movement. But if
the same person were to shout, it would
not hear a thing. Rattlesnakes are very
common and widespread animals, living
right across the American continent
from Canada to Argentina.  They feed
on a variety of prey, including mice,
voles, rats, chipmunks and many other
2018-19
114 HONEYSUCKLE
predator: an animal
naturally preying
on others.
amusing:
interesting;
enjoyable.
forage: search for
food.
small animals. Rattlesnakes kill their
prey with venom. Like all snakes, they
swallow the unfortunate animals whole.
Few snakes have to eat more than once
a week and some, such as the larger
pythons, can survive for a year or more
without eating.
4. Mongooses like to hunt together,
but they always keep a lookout for
dangerous predators nearby. Poking
their noses into holes, overturning rocks
with their paws and scratching the
ground with their sharp claws, banded
mongooses are very amusing animals
to watch. A common sight in many parts
of Africa, they travel in groups of about
twenty to forage for beetles, millipedes
and other small creatures.
5. They like to
hunt together,
keeping in touch
whenever they go out
of sight behind rocks
or bushes by
twittering and calling.
Always on the lookout
for danger — hawks,
eagles and lar ge
snakes — they warn
one another with a
special alarm call if
they spot anything
suspicious.
2018-19
Page 4


112 HONEYSUCKLE
1. DESERTS are the driest places on earth
and sometimes go for months, or even
years, without rain. But even the desert
animals cannot survive without water,
or for long periods in the scorching sun,
so they have had to find different ways
of coping with the harsh conditions. For
example, gerbils spend the hottest part
of the day in cool underground burrows.
And strange insects called darkling
beetles are experts at catching drops of
moisture on their legs, then lifting them
into the air until the drops trickle down
into their mouths. Not all deserts are
endless seas of rolling sand dunes.
Some are rocky or pebbly and dotted
with small bushes while others ar e
sprinkled with colourful flowers during
the spring.
2. There are more than 2300 different
kinds of snakes around the world,
ranging from just fifteen centimetres
long to more than eleven metres. Most
snakes are quite harmless — but there
scorching: very hot
gerbils: mouse-like
desert rodents with
long hind legs
dunes: heaps of
sand formed by
the wind
pebbly: stony
Before you read
Can you name some desert areas in India and the
world? Who do you think lives in such areas?
Desert Animals Desert Animals
9
2018-19
DESERT ANIMALS 113
voles: small
plant-eating
rodents
chipmunks: small
ground squirrels
having light and
dark stripes
are a few that ar e so
poisonous they can kill a
human being with just one
bite. Most snakes lay eggs,
but there are many which
give birth to their young.  In
the dry, rocky deserts of
America lives a rather evil-
looking snake with a very bad
reputation. Its frightening
rattle can be heard as far as
thirty metres away, and it can strike
with lightning speed.
3. But the rattlesnake, or ‘rattler’ as it
is sometimes called, prefers to avoid
people if it possibly can.  It holds its tail
upright and rattles the end whenever it
is disturbed, in the hope that the
intruder will go away. However, if its
warnings are ignored—and it feels
threatened—it will coil ready to bite. But
the rattler itself cannot hear the noise
its own tail makes.  Like most snakes,
it ‘hears’ things through vibrations in
the ground. If a person walks nearby
the snake can feel the movement. But if
the same person were to shout, it would
not hear a thing. Rattlesnakes are very
common and widespread animals, living
right across the American continent
from Canada to Argentina.  They feed
on a variety of prey, including mice,
voles, rats, chipmunks and many other
2018-19
114 HONEYSUCKLE
predator: an animal
naturally preying
on others.
amusing:
interesting;
enjoyable.
forage: search for
food.
small animals. Rattlesnakes kill their
prey with venom. Like all snakes, they
swallow the unfortunate animals whole.
Few snakes have to eat more than once
a week and some, such as the larger
pythons, can survive for a year or more
without eating.
4. Mongooses like to hunt together,
but they always keep a lookout for
dangerous predators nearby. Poking
their noses into holes, overturning rocks
with their paws and scratching the
ground with their sharp claws, banded
mongooses are very amusing animals
to watch. A common sight in many parts
of Africa, they travel in groups of about
twenty to forage for beetles, millipedes
and other small creatures.
5. They like to
hunt together,
keeping in touch
whenever they go out
of sight behind rocks
or bushes by
twittering and calling.
Always on the lookout
for danger — hawks,
eagles and lar ge
snakes — they warn
one another with a
special alarm call if
they spot anything
suspicious.
2018-19
DESERT ANIMALS 115
6. Mongooses are famous for being able
to kill snakes without getting hurt
themselves. Their reactions are so fast
that they can dodge each time the snake
strikes. They continually make a
nuisance of themselves until, after a
while, when the snake gets tired, they
quickly dive in for the kill.
7. All the female mongooses have their
kitten at about the same time.  They
are raised by the whole group in a den
made inside an old termite mount or
hollow log.  When most of the adults
are out looking for food, one or two
males stay behind to stand guard until
the others return for the night.
8. Another animal which lives in the
desert is the camel. Camels were
first domesticated by people many
thousands of years ago. In the wild,
camels usually live in small groups of
up to thirty animals. Camels have long,
shaggy winter coats to keep warm and
shorter, tidier coats in the summer to
keep cool. A thirsty camel can drink as
much as thirty gallons of water — that’s
about five hundred full glasses — in
just ten minutes.  Normally, however,
it gets all the moisture it needs from
desert plants and can survive for up
to ten months without drinking any
water at all.
dodge: move
quickly to avoid
its enemy
2018-19
Page 5


112 HONEYSUCKLE
1. DESERTS are the driest places on earth
and sometimes go for months, or even
years, without rain. But even the desert
animals cannot survive without water,
or for long periods in the scorching sun,
so they have had to find different ways
of coping with the harsh conditions. For
example, gerbils spend the hottest part
of the day in cool underground burrows.
And strange insects called darkling
beetles are experts at catching drops of
moisture on their legs, then lifting them
into the air until the drops trickle down
into their mouths. Not all deserts are
endless seas of rolling sand dunes.
Some are rocky or pebbly and dotted
with small bushes while others ar e
sprinkled with colourful flowers during
the spring.
2. There are more than 2300 different
kinds of snakes around the world,
ranging from just fifteen centimetres
long to more than eleven metres. Most
snakes are quite harmless — but there
scorching: very hot
gerbils: mouse-like
desert rodents with
long hind legs
dunes: heaps of
sand formed by
the wind
pebbly: stony
Before you read
Can you name some desert areas in India and the
world? Who do you think lives in such areas?
Desert Animals Desert Animals
9
2018-19
DESERT ANIMALS 113
voles: small
plant-eating
rodents
chipmunks: small
ground squirrels
having light and
dark stripes
are a few that ar e so
poisonous they can kill a
human being with just one
bite. Most snakes lay eggs,
but there are many which
give birth to their young.  In
the dry, rocky deserts of
America lives a rather evil-
looking snake with a very bad
reputation. Its frightening
rattle can be heard as far as
thirty metres away, and it can strike
with lightning speed.
3. But the rattlesnake, or ‘rattler’ as it
is sometimes called, prefers to avoid
people if it possibly can.  It holds its tail
upright and rattles the end whenever it
is disturbed, in the hope that the
intruder will go away. However, if its
warnings are ignored—and it feels
threatened—it will coil ready to bite. But
the rattler itself cannot hear the noise
its own tail makes.  Like most snakes,
it ‘hears’ things through vibrations in
the ground. If a person walks nearby
the snake can feel the movement. But if
the same person were to shout, it would
not hear a thing. Rattlesnakes are very
common and widespread animals, living
right across the American continent
from Canada to Argentina.  They feed
on a variety of prey, including mice,
voles, rats, chipmunks and many other
2018-19
114 HONEYSUCKLE
predator: an animal
naturally preying
on others.
amusing:
interesting;
enjoyable.
forage: search for
food.
small animals. Rattlesnakes kill their
prey with venom. Like all snakes, they
swallow the unfortunate animals whole.
Few snakes have to eat more than once
a week and some, such as the larger
pythons, can survive for a year or more
without eating.
4. Mongooses like to hunt together,
but they always keep a lookout for
dangerous predators nearby. Poking
their noses into holes, overturning rocks
with their paws and scratching the
ground with their sharp claws, banded
mongooses are very amusing animals
to watch. A common sight in many parts
of Africa, they travel in groups of about
twenty to forage for beetles, millipedes
and other small creatures.
5. They like to
hunt together,
keeping in touch
whenever they go out
of sight behind rocks
or bushes by
twittering and calling.
Always on the lookout
for danger — hawks,
eagles and lar ge
snakes — they warn
one another with a
special alarm call if
they spot anything
suspicious.
2018-19
DESERT ANIMALS 115
6. Mongooses are famous for being able
to kill snakes without getting hurt
themselves. Their reactions are so fast
that they can dodge each time the snake
strikes. They continually make a
nuisance of themselves until, after a
while, when the snake gets tired, they
quickly dive in for the kill.
7. All the female mongooses have their
kitten at about the same time.  They
are raised by the whole group in a den
made inside an old termite mount or
hollow log.  When most of the adults
are out looking for food, one or two
males stay behind to stand guard until
the others return for the night.
8. Another animal which lives in the
desert is the camel. Camels were
first domesticated by people many
thousands of years ago. In the wild,
camels usually live in small groups of
up to thirty animals. Camels have long,
shaggy winter coats to keep warm and
shorter, tidier coats in the summer to
keep cool. A thirsty camel can drink as
much as thirty gallons of water — that’s
about five hundred full glasses — in
just ten minutes.  Normally, however,
it gets all the moisture it needs from
desert plants and can survive for up
to ten months without drinking any
water at all.
dodge: move
quickly to avoid
its enemy
2018-19
116 HONEYSUCKLE
9. There are two dif ferent kinds of
camel.  One, known as the Dromedary,
has only a single hump; the other is
called a Bactrian camel and has two
humps.  The humps help the animal
to survive in the desert, by acting as
storage containers.  But they don’t
store water — as many people wrongly
believe — they are full of fat.  This fat
nourishes the camels when food is
scarce.  If they have nothing to eat for
several days, their humps shrink as the
fat is used up. There are many other
ways in which camels are adapted to
desert life. Their mouths are so tough
that even the sharp thorn cannot pierce
through.
2018-19
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