Camel

Camel

Camelus dromedarius
 

Quick Facts

Found:  Arabian Peninsula
Size:  7 feet at the hump
Weight:  Up to 1,600 pounds
Diet:  grass, wheat, hay, oats
Life Span:  Up to 40 years
Status:  Common - domesticated


You can easily remember the difference between the two camel species if you imagine a capital letter "D" lying on its side on the back of a dromedary camel forming a single hump, or imagine the capital letter "B" on it side on the back of a Bactrian camel forming the double hump.  Camels are capable of drinking 30 gallons of water in 10 minutes.  Scientists have found a camels stomach empty 10 minutes after drinking 20 gallons of water.  In other animals, drinking this much water would quickly result in water intoxication.  Contrary to popular myth, the water is not stored in the camels hump.  A camels hump is for fat storage.  When the camel uses this fat storage, the mound becomes flabby and shrinks.  If it uses too much the remaining lump will flop from its upright position and hang down the camel's side.  Camels have several adaptations to help them in their very sandy habitats; their ears are lined with fur to keep sand out, eyes are protected with a double layer of eyelashes, and bushy eyebrows shield them from the sun.