Stone plants

Martin Harvey/Still Pictures

By evening it looks like a pebble on the ground. But by day, that pebble - actually comprising pairs of fleshy leaves - blooms with a daisy-like flower. Stone plants, succulents found in the South African and Namibian deserts, are specially adapted to conserve water, including the ability to recycle their own moisture and nutrients.

 

Sandgrouse

Fred Bruemmer/Still Pictures

This ground-feeding bird from Africa, Asia and parts of Europe flies long distances at dawn and dusk to drink at watering holes. The male's belly feathers can hold up to 20 millilitres of water, which he carries over distances of more than 40 kilometres to his thirsty offspring, allowing the sandgrouse to nest far from water.

 

Dune beetle

Rosemary Calvert/Still Pictures

Though this dune beetle of the Namib desert lives underground most of the time, it climbs to the crest of its dune on foggy mornings and lets condensation collect on its body. It then stands head down, allowing the water to trickle towards its head and into its mouth.

 
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