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The Sonoran Desert (sometimes called the Gila Desert after the Gila River or the Low Desert in opposition to the higher Mojave Desert) is a North American desert which straddles part of the United States-Mexico border and covers large parts of the U.S. states of Arizona and California and the northwest Mexican states of Sonora, Baja California, and Baja California Sur. It is one of the largest and hottest deserts in North America, with an area of 311,000 square kilometres (120,000 sq mi). The desert contains a variety of unique plants and animals, such as the saguaro cactus.