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National Parks and Monuments
White Sands National Monument



White Sands National Monument

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.13

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    area, nocturnal, unique, environment, adaptation, dune, ranger, large, gypsum, sedimentary, downhill, cooler, however, rocks, enjoyment, several
     content words:    New Mexico, White Sands National Monument, Sands National Monument, National Monument


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White Sands National Monument
By Meg Leonard
  

1     There is a large area of white sand in New Mexico. It is called White Sands National Monument. The white sand is caused by gypsum. Gypsum is a very common soft mineral. It is often found with sedimentary rocks. Gypsum usually dissolves in water. It is rare to find gypsum sand. However, here you will find 275 square miles of white gypsum sand. That is why this area is protected as a national monument.
 
2     The world's largest gypsum dune field is found at White Sands National Monument. A dune is a large hill of sand created by wind. There are four different types of dunes at White Sands National Monument. Plants and animals who live here have adapted to this environment. There is almost no fresh water here. Animals must get most of their water from the food they eat. Another adaptation by some animals is their color. Many animals that live here are white. This is so they blend with the sand. However, not all animals are white. Many desert animals are nocturnal. They come out when the temperature is cooler. .....
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