UAE's Night Creatures
Be amazed by the creatures of the dark
The UAE's Night Creatures is a new fascinating yet mysterious destination that will take you on an educational journey to discover the amazing diversity of Arabian wildlife. All located on a dedicated area of 200 sq. metres, ‘UAE’s Night Creatures’ features an assortment of animal species that thrive in the desert environment. From Arabian Toads, Fruit Bats, Giant Camel Spiders, Scorpions and Hedgehogs to Veiled Chameleons, Frog Eye Geckos, Ornate Spiny Tail Lizards and Cheesmans Gerbils, the new arrivals also present a vivid sketch of the Arabian desert environment and how these species thrive in wadis, rocky mountains and sand dunes.
Scientific Name: Rousettusa egyptiacus
Bats are the only mammals that are truly capable of flying and can attain a body length of up to 15cms, with a wingspan up to 60cms. They are largely nocturnal, roosting in caves and trees during the day and hunting for food at night. Their sense of smell and sight are excellent which allows them to orient themselves in dark caves and forests. Bats are helpful to human societies by eating mosquitoes which cause many diseases that can harm humans, including malaria.
Scientific Name: Tyto alba
Barn owls have facial discs made of feathers which can be adjusted in order to sharply focus on sounds. They have the most acute hearing of any animal. Owls have binocular vision but their large eyes are fixed in their socket. Unlike other birds they have to turn their entire head to change views. Barn owls are unable to see objects within a few centimetres, but they possess excellent depth perception, helpful for hunting in low-light environments. The Barn Owls diet consists of rodents, frogs and insects and their wingspan can reach upwards of 90cm. Barn owls are more likely to be
heard screeching or hissing than the well-known owl “hoot.”
Scientific Name: Paraechinus aethiopicus
The Desert Hedgehog is born both blind and deaf and will rely on scent to detect food. Their diet consists of insects, invertebrate prey, eggs and chicks of ground-nesting birds. They can be found around vegetation rich wadi’s and forested areas. They burrow themselves to avoid daytime heat and become active at night. When threatened, the Desert Hedgehog will curl into a defensive ball. They will also sleep in this position between rocks and in small holes.
Scientific Name: Malpolon moilensis
The False Cobra name comes from their unusual, cobra-like behavior of lifting the front of their body off the ground and at a 45 degrees angle, expanding their neck and hissing as a form of defense. They are found in stony deserts of North Africa, Eritrea and the Arabian Peninsula and females are generally larger than the males.
Scientific Name: Chameleon calyptratus
A Chameleon is known for changing colour to match with their environment. Body colour also changes based on body temperature and overall health. Their eyes work independently and allow them to focus on two different objects. Veiled Chameleons have a flattened body to mimic leaves and their feet are well designed to grip limbs and branches. They have a muscular structured tongue which grips and captures insects easily. Chameleons are ambush predators that are capable of waiting for long periods to catch their prey. In addition to insects, they will also consume leaves and fruit blossoms.