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Biodiversity in the ArabianPeninsula

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soonam raman

on 4 June 2017

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Transcript of Biodiversity in the ArabianPeninsula

Snakes, lizards and geckos thrive in the Arabian Desert. More than 100 lizard species live in the region, with geckos boasting the largest variety of species. However, the largest and most famous lizard in the desert is the Egyptian uromastyx (Uromastyx aegyptia), commonly known as the dhub. These agamids grow up to 2 feet long and can weigh up to 10 pounds. Herbivores, they are commonly hunted for food. Cobras and horned vipers also inhabit the desert, though these venomous reptiles manage to avoid Saudi dinner plates.
Animals in the Arabian Peninsula

Cape hares, sand cats, striped hyenas, red foxes, caracals, two species of gazelle and Arabian wolves, camels and oryxes live within the Arabian desert. Mammals in the desert inhabit both the region’s arid and semi-desert brush areas.

One of the most recognizable mammals in the area, the Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius), thrives by storing up to 80 pounds of fat in its single hump. These camels, also known as dromedaries, have the ability to metabolize stored fat for energy when sustenance is unavailable.
This desert eco-region is home to a variety of animals adapted for life in an arid, nearly water-free environment.

Mammals. Cape hares, sand cats, striped hyenas, red foxes, caracals, two species of gazelle and Arabian wolves, camels and oryxes live within the Arabian desert. ...

At one time extinct in the wild, this desert antelope can once again be seen wandering the dry Arabian Peninsula.

The Arabian oryx is an antelope that is highly specialised for its harsh desert environment The bright white coat reflects the sun’s rays and the hooves are splayed and shovel-like, providing a large surface area with which to walk on the sandy ground . The legs are brown in colour, with white bands on the ankles, and there are also brown markings on the face, on the bridge of the nose, the cheeks and a triangular patch on the forehead .
Arabian oryx of both sexes have magnificent straight, ringed horns that can reach up to 68 centimetres in length those of the female are thinner and longer than the male . Males have a tuft of hair on the throat, and the tails of both sexes are tufted at the ends and dark brown/black on the lower half .

Rodents, Rabbits, And Hares -

Jerobas are long-tailed leaping rodents that are found in the Arabian Desert. These animals are well-adapted to live in the desert habitat. Besides the jerobas, other small mammals like mice, rats, porcupines, hares, and rabbits also live in the Arabian Desert and serve as food for the snakes, birds of prey, and mammalian carnivores residing in the desert. These animals usually possess fur color that camouflages them in the desert habitat and protects them from predation.
Several species of insects like ants, beetles, termites, fleas, lice, mantids, moths, locusts, etc., are found in the Arabian Desert and act as an important part of the desert food chain. Venomous scorpions, spiders, and ticks are also found in the desert.
The Arabian Desert and its surrounding areas once housed numerous mammalian species. However, the use of motor vehicles for hunting in the desert led to the rapid decline in populations of these species. Before World War I, gazelles were a common sight in the desert habitat. However, soon indiscriminate hunting rendered the gazelles nearly extinct in the region. Regulation of hunting and establishment of wildlife reserves by the Saudi Government helped to recover the populations of these animals. Other herbivores like the Arabian oryx, a medium-sized antelope, had nearly vanished from the Arabian Peninsula before being reintroduced after captive breeding. The ibex, a wild goat species, is also found in the desert habitat.
In the desert plains of the Arabian Desert, small carnivores like the civets, sand cats, ratels, and foxes are found. These animals live in territorial isolation in the desert habitat. They feed on small mammals, desert reptiles, and amphibians, etc.
Hyenas and jackals also found in the Arabian desert. The hyenas are usually found in escarpments and places where sheep are herded. Hyenas are efficient scavengers in the desert. Jackals can be sighted in the desert at dusk near water bodies where they arrive to drink water or hunt.
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