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SAHARA DESERT

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The Sahara is the largest hot desert and the third largest desert in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic. Its area of 9,200,000 square kilometers. The Sahara covers large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia. It covers 9 million square kilometres (3,500,000 sq mi), amounting to 31% of Africa. If all areas with a mean annual precipitation of less than 250 mm were included, the Sahara would be 11 million square kilometers. The central Sahara is hyperarid, with sparse vegetation. The Sahara is the world's largest low-latitude hot desert. The area is located in the horse latitudes under the subtropical ridge, a significant belt of semi-permanent subtropical warm-core high pressure where the air from upper levels of the troposphere tends to sink towards the ground. The flora of the Sahara is highly diversified based on the bio-geographical characteristics of this vast desert. The central Sahara is estimated to include five hundred species of plants. Several species of fox live in the Sahara including: the fennec fox, pale fox and Rüppell's fox. The addax, a large white antelope, can go nearly a year in the desert without drinking. The dorcas gazelle is a North African gazelle that can also go for a long time without water.

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