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The Sonoran Desert (sometimes called the Gila Desert ) is a North American desert which straddles part of the United States-Mexico border and covers large parts of the U.S. states of Arizona and California and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California. It is one of the largest and hottest deserts in North America, with an area of 311,000 km² (120,000 mi² ). The desert contains a variety of unique plants and animals, such as the saguaro cactus.
The Sonoran Desert includes 60 mammal species, 350 bird species, 20 amphibian species, 100+ reptile species, 30 native fish species, and more than 2000 native plant species. The Sonoran Desert is considered the wettest desert in the world, receiving up to 15 inches (380 mm) per year in some locations.
Many plants not only survive the harsh conditions of the Sonoran Desert, but they actually thrive. Many have evolved to have specialized adaptations to the desert climate. The Sonoran Desert includes such plants from the agave family, palm family, cactus family, legume family, and many others. This desert is the only place in the world where the famous saguaro cactus grows in the wild.

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Additional Photos by Greg Simon (gsimon) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 62 W: 37 N: 42] (387)
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