Animal Life Around the Dead Sea

As the name signifies, nothing that has life can flourish in the Dead Sea. It is a massive water body that stretches for about 77 kilometers (48 miles) long and 5 and 18 kilometers (3 and 11 miles) wide. Lying calmly between Jordan and Israel, the lake houses a variety of minerals that are found on the surface of the earth such as sodium, calcium, magnesium and silica. These minerals get carried into rivers and ultimately in the sea when ever it rains, along with rainwater. The two most widely found elements in this Sea are sodium and calcium, which when combines form salt, making the water salty and due to this salinity, Dead Sea creates an extremely ruthless ambiance where animals cannot survive and flourish.

As far as the point of life in the Dead Sea is concerned, the only supportive statement comes from the source bacterium Haloarcula marismortui. It is one of the two species of bacteria that live in the Dead Sea. However, in the region scattered around Dead-Sea, a number of animals originating in Africa can be found, as this area was once a part of the north-eastern corner of the African continent. With the ongoing process of desiccation, a desert belt is formed which eventually isolated the animal population here from its original home. In fact, from this category of animals, the most popular habitant of Dead Sea region is the Rock Rabbit, a social herbivore. The mammal has pads on its short toes that help it climb easily in the rock fissures.

Although the Dead Sea region is specifically categorized as barren land, the rift does support a migration platform for nomadic birds, predators and others that fly to cover the distance from Africa to Northern Europe. These birds glide over the air currents in the mountain corridors, where a few get misled due to the blue color of the river, thinking it be a sweet water lake. These misguided birds come to rest on the Dead-Sea and finally close the chapter of their lives.

Further, the drift of continents cleared the way for Asiatic animals’ entry and disturbed the African element that was unable to find survival with the changing climatic conditions. Many animals like crocodile, the rhinoceros and the hippopotamus got vanished from the region. The other African species restricted themselves to the area that still has some minimum possible conditions for endurance.

Another interesting habitant found in the area around Dead Sea is ants living on the tress. These ants build their homes in nests and capture and hold one of the region’s vermin. Dead Sea does not provide suitable living environment for any of the multi-celled organism except for Ein Fashcha, a series of springs on the northern shore. A variety of fish and shell-fish, reaching to Ein Fashcha, got trapped by the blockade created by the rising absorption of salt in the waters of the lake.


At this point, a tributary enters the sea and brings along with it, these fresh water creatures fighting, for their survival. Unfortunately, they die soon after getting in touch with the highly concentrated salt sea. On the other side, the Asiatic migrants, surviving in the region around the Dead Sea, choose their terrain as per their nature. The very popular light-footed fleet gazelle houses in the open plains, whereas the ibex sticks to the cliffs.

Due to the heavy content of minerals in the massive body of water of Dead Sea, the survival of underwater life is not feasible. However, the continental rift supports survival of few selective animals in the areas around the Dead Sea.

Source by Jack Laros

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