Tag Archives: Iraq

Elephas maximus ssp. asurus P. E. P. Deraniyagala

Syrian Elephant (Elephas maximus ssp. asurus)

The Syrian Elephant was a subspecies of the Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus L.) that formerly inhabited the Euphrates-Tigris River Basin, a region that today often is called the ‘Middle East’.

The males reached heights of about 2,9 m, females of about 2,6 m.

The last populations disappeared at around 100 BC..



[1] Ebru Albayrak: The ancient Asian elephant of Turkey in the light of new specimens: Does it have regional features? Quaternary Science Reviews 218: 189-199. 2019


edited: 12.06.2020

Caecocypris basimi Banister & Bunni

Haditha Cavefish (Caecocypris basimi)

The Haditha Cavefish was described in 1980 based on material that was collected in 1977 from aquifers, underground layers of water-bearing rocks, near the city of Haditha, Iraq.

The groundwater level has drastically lowered since than due to water extraction; the species hasn’t been found since 1983, despite comprehensive surveys and appears to be extinct now.


edited: 09.08.2022

Struthio camelus ssp. syriacus Rothschild

Arabian Ostrich (Struthio camelus ssp. syriacus)  

The Ostrich is the largest living bird, it produces the largest eggs of any living bird, which, on the other hand are the smallest of any eggs when compared to adult birds.  


The Arabian Ostrich was a subspecies that inhabited the Arabian Peninsula and parts of the Middle East region, it was described in 1919.  

The Arabian form was almost similar to the North African Ostrich (Struthio camelus ssp. camelus L.), but was slightly smaller, furthermore the females are said to have been somewhat lighter colored than those of the North African form.  

The Arabian Ostrich was heavily hunted, a fate that is shared with many other large birds like bustards, in the end it was hunted to extinction.  


In recent times North African Ostriches were introduced to Arabia and Israel, to replace the extinct Arabian form.  


edited: 20.03.2018