What types of animals can you see in Libya?
Libya is home to some of the most incredible wildlife on the planet. The amount of diversity is truly incredible. 🙂
But because of the sheer number of different species, there was no way I could include every animal living in Libya.
So, here is what I did to make this list more manageable:
The article below focuses mostly on the most common and unique MAMMALS found in Libya.
If you were hoping to learn about something else, like reptiles, birds, or spiders, I have created separate ID guides for these categories of animals.
Please click the links below to view pages dedicated to these species in Libya:
2 Incredible ANIMALS IN Libya:
#1. North African Hedgehog
- Atelerix algirus
- They have large ears, long snouts, relatively long legs, and lack a widow’s peak of spines on their head, common in other hedgehog species.
- They have brown or whitish underbellies, and their upper sides are covered with white spines with dark banding.
North African Hedgehogs love the arid climates in Libya. They spend their nights roaming these lands on surprisingly fast legs, which are relatively long compared to other hedgehogs. Individuals can cover five miles in one night!
North African Hedgehogs use their spines to protect themselves and roll into a ball when threatened. In these arid climates, they also have to protect themselves from the weather, and during hot periods, they may hide in a burrow and go into a dormant state.
These spiky animals also engage in an odd ritual called anointing, which scientists don’t fully understand. When they encounter a new scent, they lick and bite the object and create a frothy saliva, which they paste over their bodies.
#2. Rock Hyrax
- Procavia capensis
Also called Dassie, Cape hyrax, Rock Rabbit, and Coney.
- Short snouts, cleft upper lips, stout legs, short ears, and rubber-like soles on their feet.
- They are brownish-gray with creamy undersides, long black whiskers, and a black patch of hair on their back.
These small animals may look like rodents in Libya, but their closest living relatives are actually elephants and manatees! As their name suggests, they live in rocky, scrub-covered areas.
Rock Hyrax have several adaptions that allow them to move about skillfully on steep, rocky surfaces. First, Rock Hyrax feet soles are rubber-like and kept moist by a glandular secretion. And second, their feet also have a depression in the center that acts a bit like a suction cup.
Rock Hyrax Range Map
Rock Hyraxes usually live in colonies called “kopjes,” ranging from 5 to 60 individuals. Usually, these groups are made of a male, several females, and their young.
Interestingly, Rock Hyrax colonies usually urinate and defecate in a common restroom. This habit causes a build-up of calcium carbonate from the urine, turning the cliffs where they live white. In the past, African tribes and Europeans collected the calcium carbonate crystals for medicine to treat epilepsy, hysteria, and other injuries and ailments.
Do you want to learn about MORE animals in Libya?
Check out these ID Guides. Each one is specific to wildlife in Libya!
Which of these animals in Libya is your favorite?
Leave a comment below! I’d especially like to know if you have visited Libya before and what you saw.