Don’t know your Dromedary from your Bactrian? Fear not, help is at hand. Camelsmik UK present you with some interesting facts all about the Camel, dubbed the ‘ship of the desert’.
Camels are unique-looking creatures that are easily recognized because of their humps. They live in the desert areas of Africa and Asia. There are 2 types of species: the Dromedary, which has one hump, and is mainly found in North Africa and the Middle East and the Bactrian, which has two humps and is found mainly in Central Asia.
Did you know that baby camels are born without humps? They are, however, able to run within hours of birth. Pregnancy in camels lasts from 9-14 months, depending on the availability of food with camel life expectancy normally ranging from 40-50 years.
Contrary to popular misconception, camels do not store water in their humps. The humps are actually reservoirs for fatty tissue, storing up to 80 pounds (36 kilograms) of fat, which a camel can break down into water and energy when sustenance is not available. These humps give camels their legendary ability to travel up to 100 desert miles (161 kilometres) without water.
Camels can reach a whopping 7 feet in height (at the hump) and weigh up to a hefty 1500 pounds, propelling that sizeable frame at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
Camels have two rows of thick eyelashes to protect their eyes from the desert dust. They are also able to close their nostrils and lips to keep out the dust.
Camels can survive without food and water for a long period of time. Most mammals would die if they lost 15% of their water, but a camel can lose of 20-25% water without becoming dehydrated.
A very thirsty camel can drink 30 gallons (135 litres) of water in only 13 minutes!!
Camel’s milk is rich in iron, vitamins and minerals and it is healthier than cow’s milk because it contains less fat.
With the exception of rutting males competing for females, camels are very peaceful animals who rarely exhibit aggression.
In Arab cultures the camel symbolises patience, tolerance and endurance. Camels have played such an important role in Arabian culture that there are over 160 words for ‘camel’ in the Arabic language. Arabian camels have been domesticated for approximately 3,500 years and have been long valued as pack animals. They can carry large loads for up to 25 miles (40 kilometres) a day.
Did you know unlike many other animals, camels move both legs on one side of the body at the same time?