Saudi Arabia is a country on the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It has a land area of about 2,150,000 km2, making it the fifth-largest country in Asia, the second-largest in the Arab world, and the largest in Western Asia. It is bordered by the Red Sea to the west, Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait to the north, the Persian Gulf, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast, and Yemen to the south. Bahrain is an island country off the east coast. The Gulf of Aqaba in the northwest separates Saudi Arabia from Egypt. Saudi Arabia is the only country with a coastline along both the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and most of its terrain consists of arid desert, lowland, steppe, and mountains.
Saudi Arabia is home to five terrestrial ecoregions: Arabian Peninsula coastal fog desert, Southwestern Arabian foothills savanna, Southwestern Arabian montane woodlands, Arabian Desert, and Red Sea Nubo-Sindian tropical desert and semi-desert.Wildlife includes the Arabian leopard, wolf, striped hyena, mongoose, baboon, hare, sand cat, and jerboa. Animals such as gazelles, oryx, leopards and cheetahs were relatively numerous until the 19th century, when extensive hunting reduced these animals almost to extinction. The culturally important Asiatic lion occurred in Saudi Arabia until the late 19th century before it was hunted to extinction in the wild. Birds include falcons, eagles, hawks, vultures, sandgrouse, and bulbuls. There are several species of snakes, many of which are venomous. Saudi Arabia is home to a rich marine life. The Red Sea in particular is a rich and diverse ecosystem. More than 1200 species of fish have been recorded in the Red Sea, and around 10 per cent of these are found nowhere else. This also includes 42 species of deepwater fish.
The rich diversity is in part due to the 2,000 km of coral reef extending along its coastline; these fringing reefs are 5000–7000 years old and are largely formed of stony acropora and porites corals. The reefs form platforms and sometimes lagoons along the coast and occasional other features such as cylinders, These coastal reefs are also visited by pelagic species of Red Sea fish, including some of the 44 species of shark.The Red Sea also contains many offshore reefs including several true atolls. Many of the unusual offshore reef formations defy classic coral reef classification schemes, and are generally attributed to the high levels of tectonic activity that characterize the area.Domesticated animals include the legendary Arabian horse, Arabian camel, sheep, goats, cows, donkeys, chickens, etc. Reflecting the country's dominant desert conditions, Saudi Arabia's plant life mostly consists of herbs, plants, and shrubs that require little water. The date palm is widespread.