Sand dunes are often home to vibrant ecosystems. They shelter various plants, small animals and insects that have learned to live in sand. Plants that live in sandy environments must be resistant to drought. Some store water for long periods in their stems and leaves, and some have extensive root systems that stretch deep and wide into the water table. These plants in turn provide the dunes with a foundation that prevents erosion during storms. Snakes and lizards often burrow into dunes to form a home, as do countless types of insects. Even small rodents sometimes make sand dunes their homes by digging out vast networks of burrows.
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