Images of dry tropical habitat: Oman
Though Arabia is usually associated with baking desert, the parts of the peninsula that reach into the tropics are often much richer in species than similarly dry parts of the temperate zone. One part of Oman, a region called Dhofar, supports a unique pocket of tropical deciduous forest.
Click on a thumbnail for a larger image:
Tree ( Boswellia sacra in the Burseraceae) growing in the
Dhofar region of southern Oman
you're wondering what frankinscence is, it is the gum that exudes from
the bark of the Frankinscence Tree that is used as a wonderfully aromatic
inscence. In southern Oman, it is burned in special clay burners.
of a species of Cordia in cultivation in the Botanic Garden
of Sultan Qaboos University.
odd, unidentified tree (Capparaceae?) near Al Ayun, Dhofar.
plant is an Adenium, a relative of oleander. It was growing on a rocky
hillside near the ocean in Dhofar. Many plants of dry tropical areas have
at left and right) Camel crossing and camels on Dhofar roads.
of ? on Moringa peregrina built of Moringa leaf
segments, photographed in the Jebel Akhdar range in northern Oman.
gecko (Pristurus carteri) sitting immobile on a rock in the baking
midday sun of inland Dhofar.
the day, many drylands, especially the driest ones, look bereft of animals.
But this dune face in Dhofar belies the presence of insects, rodents, and
are among the most destructive of all grazing domestic animals. One reason
is their persistence and resourcefulness. This goat in northern Oman has figured
out how to climb an Acacia tortilis.
summer air blasting out of the Arabian interior creates an inversion layer,
causing the southern face of a low escarpment in southern Oman to catch
just enough of the summer monsoon to support a rich, unique tropical
image looks generally southward to the Arabian Sea from just above the lip
of the escarpment. This image was taken just a few kilometers from the previous
one, showing how abrupt the transition is between the forest on the escarpment
face and the drier habitats above it.
inversion layer blocks the penetration of moist air northward into the
interior. This photo was taken about 30 kilometers from the previous one.
The large tree is the unidentified plant shown in photo 4. above, and
the black shrubs are Frankinscence Trees.
large watercourse, the Wadi Ghul, drains the southern flanks of the Jebel
Akhdar in northern Oman. The green shrubs in the foreground are Euphorbia
larica. The white-trunked tree is Moringa peregrina. Numerous
Acacia tortilis trees can be seen below. The shrubs include
the Caper Family member Ochradenus.
rocky Wadi Muaydin in northern Oman supports trees such as Acacia tortilis,
Ziziphus spina-christi, and Acridocarpus orientalis.
image is from northern Oman, showing a landscape with Acacia trees,
numerous grasses, and abundant shrublets of Fagonia.
home - people - research - images of the dry tropics - exploration - acknowledgements
Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma
Circuito Exterior s/n, Ciudad Universitaria
Copilco, Coyoacán A. P. 70-367
C. P. 04510, México, D. F.
(52) 55 5622-9127 fon (52) 55 5555-1760 fax