Gathering Water

Part of the Water: H2O = Life exhibition.

Sometimes it can be hard to find a drink of water. Many animals and plants use special tricks to get what they need. These species have evolved techniques for collecting the water that's most readily available, whether it's dripping down the side of a tree or falling out of the sky.

Like Water Off a Lizard's Back

When rain falls in the Chihuahuan Desert of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, the parched, porous soil quickly soaks up the water, making it difficult for animals to get enough to drink. The Texas horned lizard collects drinking water by using tiny channels between the horned scales on its back to guide the water toward its mouth. These lizards also broaden their backs and lower their heads to ensure that hardly a drop is lost.