Mauritania, officially known as The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is located on the western side of North Africa. It is the eleventh largest country in Africa. It is bordered on the east and southeast by Mali, the west by the Atlantic Ocean Senegal to the southwest, Algeria to the northeast and Morocco and part of Western Sahara to the north. The country’s area coverage is 397,685 square miles with a population of approximately 4.1 million. Nouakchott is the capital as well as the largest city in the country. Mauritania’s wildlife composes of both fauna as well as flora (plants).
Native Reptiles Of Mauritania
Sahara Sand Viper
The Sahara sand viper, scientifically known as Cerastes viper, is a venomous viper from the family of Viperidae and the subfamily of Viperinae. It is found only in the deserts and arid regions of North Africa and Sinai Peninsula. It exhibits sexual dimorphism, and females are larger than males. An adult sand viper grows up to 1.6 feet long, with a small triangular head. Its eyes are located at the top of the head.
African Puff Adder
The African Puff Adder, scientifically known as Bitis arietans, is a venomous viper mainly found in the savannah and grassland regions throughout Africa. The color patterns of the body vary on its terrestrial habitat as it is found in all habitats except, true deserts, rainforests, and tropical areas. It has an average body length of approximately 40 inches, but the males are larger than the females. They are nocturnal animals who reproduce by laying eggs. They mainly prey on birds, mammals, amphibians, and lizards.
West African Crocodile
The West African crocodile, scientifically known as Crocodylus suchus, is a desert crocodile from the family of Crocodylidae. It is found in Mauritania and twenty-two other countries in Africa. This species has adapted to the environmental condition in the arid areas like going into aestivation during the driest months to lower its metabolic reactions. In ancient Egypt, the crocodile had spiritual connections and was worshiped because of its docility.
The Sahel chameleon, scientifically known as the Chamaeleo Africanus, is a species of chameleon from the Chamaeleonidae family native to the Sahel and Nile valleys. It is larger than common chameleons with a body length of up to 18 inches. It green with black spots in color, and is capable of changing color. The females reproduce by laying eggs approximately twenty-five in number which take three months to mature. They mainly feed on insects and small lizards.
The Nile monitor, scientifically known as Varanus stellatus, is a large member of the Varanidae family. It is the second largest reptile in the Nile River growing up a length of 8 feet with a varying body weight due to age or environmental conditions. Just like any other monitor lizards, the Nile monitor has muscular bodies, strong legs, sharp claws, forked tongue, and powerful jaws all for defense, climbing, and running. Its diet is mainly composed of fish, snails, other small reptiles, birds, mammals, and insects. On most occasions, it is found in all ecoregions in Africa except the deserts and arid regions.