Presentation on Oman in Francfort

Presentation on Oman in Francfort

Live lectures Reiseberichte

On 15 December 2023, Benjamin Scheler from Burgrieden will give an illustrated talk in Frankfurt am Main about a trip to Oman. The Sultanate of Oman is located in the south-east of the Arabian Peninsula and borders the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

As a desert connoisseur, Benjamin Scheler travelled through Oman for two weeks last year. He travelled around 4500 km. From his starting point in Muscat, he travelled south-east down the coast. A short detour to the country’s largest island – Masirah – then took him to Dhofar. This southernmost province of Oman is the only area of the Arabian Peninsula to feel the influence of the summer monsoon. The flora and fauna are correspondingly different compared to the rest of the country. From there, we travelled a little further north, away from the coast, into the desert areas. We then took the only road through the arid hinterland back to the capital Muscat. Benjamin was able to track down 45 species of reptiles and amphibians, some in unexpectedly high numbers – including chameleons.

All in all, you can expect a great, colourful presentation that will certainly not only delight desert fans!

Benjamin Scheler A (first) trip to Oman to find reptiles and amphibians
DGHT City Group Frankfurt
Zoo school of Zoo Frankfurt
Alfred-Brehm-Platz 16
60316 Frankfurt am Main
Einlass ab 18.30 Uhr, Vortragsbeginn 19.00 Uhr

Photo: Chamaeleo arabicus in Oman, photographed by Benjamin Scheler

Chameleons in mythology

Chameleons in mythology

General topics Newspaper articles

With its independently moving eyes, shooting tongue and ability to change colour, the chameleon was already the subject of superstition and myths in ancient times – and has remained so in many places to this day. An article now published by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Böhme and natural historian Thore Koppetsch deals with precisely this topic.

The content ranges from the so-called Brooklyn Papyrus, which described a still unexplained “colour-changing” creature of antiquity, to bizarre events involving mother’s milk and chameleons in the Gambia of our time. Probably the oldest written record of a chameleon comes from Greece, from Aristotle himself, who lived from 384 to 322 BC. The term chameleon itself probably goes back to the Greek: chamai and leon were put together to form “earth lion”. However, this interpretation of the origin of the word is not entirely undisputed. The article also deals with superstitions on the island of Samos, in Morocco, Tunisia, Togo, Benin, Cameroon and Madagascar, and the use of chameleons for pseudo-medicine and occultism.

Chamäleons in der Mythologie der Völker
Wolfgang Böhme, Thore Koppetsch
Koenigiana 17, 2023, pp. 39-50
DOI: nicht vorhanden

Chamaeleo arabicus juveniles in the AG

Chamaeleo arabicus juveniles in the AG

Nachzuchten

The Arabian chameleon, Chamaeleo arabicus, is hardly ever bred in Europe at the moment. So it is all the more pleasing that this week a whole clutch of chameleons hatched successfully in Switzerland and Germany! Congratulations to Franziska von Ballmoos-Gasser, where the pictured hatchlings live. Franziska had given the parents to Rolf Attinger in winter 2021, where they successfully mated in 2022. After Rolf died unexpectedly, Franziska took back the animals and several eggs. Some of the eggs were given to a good friend of Rolf in Germany, the rest remained in Switzerland. Now 9 agile, good-looking youngsters have hatched in Switzerland and 14 in Germany. The aim is to join Rolf’s success with the species and to continue breeding the species with the same joy. At some point in the future, legal offspring of Chamaeleo arabicus should be offered in Europe. We sincerely hope that everything will continue to work out and that many more keepers will be able to enjoy the species!

The Arabian Chameleon in Abyan (Yemen)

The Arabian Chameleon in Abyan (Yemen)

Verbreitung Science

The majority of overview studies on the occurrence of reptiles in Yemen date back to the 1990s. More recent research is mainly based on areas close to cities, but less on more remote regions. Two biologists from the Universities of Aden and Abyan have recently published a survey on the occurrence of reptiles in Abyan.

The Abyan governorate is located in the south of Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula. It borders the Gulf of Aden to the south and the governorates of Aden, Lahji, Al Bayda, and Shabwa to the west, north and east. 44 areas in Abyan were surveyed within a whole year. Reptiles were caught by hand and some were merely documented, while others were killed and preserved. A total of 202 animals were examined.

A total of 24 different reptile species were found. Chamaeleo arabicus was found in the districts of Lawdar, Zinjibar, Khanfir and Jayshan. Of the 23 finds, most were made in western Khanfir, not far from the town of Zinjibar. Two chameleons were found in northern Lawdar and only one in southern Jayshan. The authors point out that the chameleons are mainly found in cultivated landscapes.

Distribution of lizards in Abyan Governorate, Yemen
Salem M. Busais, Wafa A. Abo-Alib, Hasan M. Alrahowi
Electronic Journal of University of Aden for Basic and Applied Sciences 4 (1), 2023
DOI: 10.47372/ejua-ba.2023.1.220