Socotra is an island so that when he falls, he seems to be unearthly, magical, incredible.
Not always geographical map looked so different from what we are accustomed to seeing now.
For example, 500 million years in the southern hemisphere there was a continent, uniting modern-day Africa, South America, Australia, the Hindustan Peninsula and Antarctica. It was called Gondwana. Subsequently, the supercontinent broke up into several parts, one of which is Socotra archipelago. Being remote from other continents, a piece of land has become a kind of Noah’s ark for ancient flora and fauna. Due to the long isolation from the outer world samples of ancient nature survived all sorts of disasters, and the archipelago formed its own brand unlike any flora that exists nowhere else in the world.
The archipelago of Socotra lies in the Indian ocean, 350 km South of the Arabian Peninsula. It consists of 4 Islands of Socotra, Abd El Kuri and Samha — inhabited, and two rocks. The archipelago is part of the Republic of Yemen.
The largest of all the Islands is Socotra. Its area is 3625 sq km. the Island extends 134 km long and 43 km wide.
For the main island is characterized by three types of terrain: narrow coastal plains, a limestone plateau permeated with karstic caves, and the haggier mountains, the maximum height of 1525 meters.
The flora and fauna of Socotra island is characterized by high degree of endemism, i.e. many of the existing species are found nowhere else in the world. Of the 825 species of plants growing on the island, 37 % are endemic.
The symbol of Socotra island is tree Dracaena cinnabar-red. The crown of the tree, the height of which can reach up to 10 meters, is shaped like a mushroom. If the bark is cut into, the tree begins to flow red juice, which hardens quickly. Local widely used it as a cosmetic and a drug.
Another hallmark of the island is “or bottle tree Adenium fat”. Also common on Socotra cucumber tree incense trees of the family burzanovic and several species of aloe.
Most of the inhabitants of the island are also endemic. Native fauna consists of bats, endemic shrews, small reptiles, including chameleon Chamaele monachus, reptiles, arachnids and insects. 27 species of land reptiles are found only on the archipelago.
Socotra is home to rare species of birds. Just here is home to 192 species, taking into account those who come only for the winter. Many of the birds are on the verge of extinction. Some species, such as socotrensis long-tailed Starling, solotransa double, socotrensis Sparrow and Golden-winged Finch are endemic.
Socotra is a unique area of land preserved in its territory the nature of ancient times. However, as a result of economic activities of its terrain gradually changes. The vegetation suffers from cattle grazing in the dry season it eats the leaves of many trees. In addition, the flora changes under the influence of biological pollution in the form of introduced species. In 2008, UNESCO added the archipelago to the world heritage list.
In the spring and summer months the island is in the path of tropical cyclones in this period, to the shores of Socotra is not always possible to swim. The most favorable time to visit the island is the period from the beginning of October to the end of March.
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