SOKOTRA : EXTREME BIOSPHERE
Valleys of Titan, venus prairies, Martian forests?. Not, the pictures correspond to natural landscapes of Sokotra, a terraqueous island, part of a small archipelago of 4 islands, in the Indian Ocean to 400 km of the south coast of Yemen, in front of the horn but big of Africa. The island, of 130 km long, 40 km wide, area of 3650 km2 and 80 000 inhabitants (shepherds, merchants, fishermen, farmers), is administered by the government of Aden/Yemen. Commercial Airplanes lead daily toward its capital Hadibou, a peaceful and picturesque place, with houses covered by palms and built with coral. The strange of their endemic fauna and flora, owes it -according to specialists- to its long isolation of Main Africa, motivated by its separation from the same one, 60 millions years ago.
Sokotra harbors but of 815 species of plants, of which 250 are endemic (7 species correspond to resinous trees). It also harbors but of 100 new species of birds. During the monsoon of April/October, all natural vegetation is pruned completely, emerging naked granite mountains, of up to 1519 m of high, bushes, líchens and unusual resinous trees of until 5 m of height: alive fossils in form of inverted bottle trees (Boswellia spec, dragons blood), mounted on rocks, defending their growth with toxic and inedible thorns and whose resin is used as perfume, healing and tint. In dry seasons these strange trees (with great content of water), become vital oasis for nomadics, being given the luxury of germinating roses (Adenium obesum socotranum), in their apexes. These trees have similar properties of american cacti which are adapted to extremely arid and hot environments showing a wide range of anatomical and physiological features which conserve water. Sokotra also harbors big nutritious lizards and to other greasy species from which its oil is extracted. The natives say that the heave of endemic chameleons can steal the voice to the man. Their seas have dolphins and whales. Great part of the island is surrounded by a ring of fine cliffs of 500 m of height disposed like a blown out globe. Sokotra that has the coastal but big dunes of the earth, is world candidate to Biosphere reservation.