How some animals survive on almost no water

Six scintillating adaptations for life in the driest places on Earth
frog with mucous membrane
During hot, dry periods, this Australian frog secretes a waterproof mucus cocoon that prevents moisture from escaping its body. Meanwhile, the frog hibernates underground, waiting for another rainy season. It can survive for two years or more on the liquid stored in its bladder. Michael Brandon Myers

In the most arid places on the planet, hydration is hard to come by and easy to lose. Every moist breath exhaled, every bead of sweat that drips off, and every emptied bladderful of urine means wasted wetness and a greater risk of death by dehydration. Yet some animals manage to survive in these places. They get by on almost no water at all, thanks to clever adaptations that make them super savers and hydration scavengers.

tortoise and bladder
kangaroo rat kidneys
lizard with spikes
sand gazelle

This article was originally published in the March/April 2017 issue of Popular Science, under the title “Moisture Misers.”