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Camels are even-toed ungulates in the genus Camelus. The dromedary, one-humped or Arabian
camel has a single hump, and the bactrian camel has two humps. They are native to the dry and
desert areas of western Asia and East Africa, and central and east Asia, respectively.

The name camel comes to English via the Greek κάμηλος (kámēlos) from the Hebrew gamal or
Arabic Jamal.

The average life expectancy of a camel is 50 to 60 years. The term camel is also used more broadly
to describe any of the six camel-like creatures in the family Camelidae: the two true camels, and
the four South American camelids, the llama, alpaca, guanaco, and vicuña.

A fully-grown adult camel stands 1.85m/6 feet at the shoulder and 2.15m/7 feet at the hump. The
hump rises about 30 inches out of its body. Camels can run up to 40mph in short bursts, and sustain
speeds of up to 25mph.

Humans first domesticated camels between 3,500–3,000 years ago. The dromedary and the
bactrian camel are both still used for milk (which is more nutritious than cow's milk), meat, and as
beasts of burden—the dromedary in western Asia, and the bactrian camel further to the north and
east in central Asia.

Bactrian camels have two humps and are rugged cold-climate camels while dromedaries have
one hump and are desert dwellers. Dromedary hybrids are called bukhts, are larger than either
parent, have a single hump and are good draft camels. The females can be mated back to a
bactrian to produce ¾-bred riding camels. These hybrids are found in Kazakhstan.

The cama is a camel/llama hybrid bred by scientists who wanted to see how closely related the
parent species were.

Camels are well known for their humps. However, they do not store water in them as is commonly
believed, though they do serve this purpose through roundabout means. Their humps are actually
a reservoir of fatty tissue. When this tissue is metabolised, it is not only a source of energy, but
yields through reaction with oxygen from the air 1,111 g of water per 1,000 g of fat converted. This
process of fat metabolisation generates a net loss of water through respiration.

Their ability to withstand long periods without water is due to a series of physiological adaptations,
as described below.

Their red blood cells have an oval shape, unlike those of other mammals, which are circular. This is
to facilitate their flow in a dehydrated state. These cells are also more stable, in order to withstand
high osmotic variation without rupturing, when drinking large amounts of water (20-25 gallons in
one drink).

The kidneys of a camel are very efficient. Urine comes out as a thick syrup and their feces are so
dry that they can fuel fires.

Camels are able to withstand changes in body temperature and water content that would kill
most other animals. Their temperature ranges from 34°C (93°F) at night up to 41°C (106°F) at day,
and only above this threshold will they begin to sweat. The upper body temperature range is often
not reached during the day in milder climatic conditions and therefore the camel may not sweat
at all during the day. Evaporation of their sweat takes place at the skin level not at the surface of
their coat, thereby being very efficient at cooling the body compared to the amount of water lost
through sweating. This ability to fluctuate body temperature and the efficiency of their sweating
allows them to preserve about five litres of water a day.

A feature of their nostrils is that a large amount of water vapour in their exhalations is trapped and
returned to the camels body fluids, thereby reducing the amount of water lost through respiration.

They can withstand at least 20-25% weight loss due to sweating (most mammals can only
withstand about 3-4% dehydration before cardiac failure results from the thickened blood). A
camel's blood remains hydrated even though the body fluids are lost; until this 25% limit is reached.

Camels eating green herbage can ingest sufficient moisture in milder conditions to maintain their
body's hydrated state without the need for drinking.

A camel's thick coat reflects sunlight. A shorn camel has to sweat 50% more to avoid overheating.
It also insulates them from the intense heat that radiates from hot desert sand. Their long legs help
by keeping them further from the hot ground. Camels have been known to swim if given the

Camel Cuisine

Use of Camels by the South African Police

Camel Mating Call MP3
Zarfilms2007   The Dromedary Camel (Camelus dromedarius) (often referred to simply as the
"Dromedary") is a large even-toed ungulate native to northern Africa and western Asia, also the
land of east Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. Yet, the world's only population of wild
dromedaries are in Australia. One Hump
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