The physiology of desert animals must tread a narrow path between water conservation and heat regulation. The lack of sweat glands (a water-saving measure) means that less conventional ways must be used to cool the animal in the heat of the day. Usually this is achieved by large ears or similar outgrowths which, crisscrossed by blood vessels, act as radiators to remove the animal's body heat.A structure of this kind is found on the tail of the sand flapjack. Its excess body heat is carried away by the blood to the tail, where it is dissipated into the atmosphere. When pursued the animal can move at speed, running with its lengthy tail held well out behind as a counterbalance in the manner of its jerboa ancestor. To conserve water the flapjack even constructs a condensate trap. As part of their courtship ritual each pair of flapjacks places a pile of stones over the site of the family burrow. These stones as well as protecting the burrow from the sun's direct rays during the day provide a large number of cold surfaces on which moisture can condense at night.
Predators of the sand flapjack include desert sharks.