Click here for a great selection of Amazon.com books about camels.
Basic Camel Facts
- Camels are even-toed ungulates within the genus Camelus.
- There are two species of camel. The one humped camel (dromedary) which lives in the Middle East and on the Horn of Africa and the two humped camel (Bactrian) of Central Asia.
- The word "camel" comes from the Latin word camelus.
- Camels usually live for forty to fifty years.
- Adult camels reach an approximate height of 7 feet (2.15 meters).
- In short burst a camel can run at a speed of 40 mph (65 km/h).
- Camels can maintain a speed of 25 mph (40 km/h) for a long period of time. This makes them an excellent mode of transportation in the desert.
Facts about how the Camel is Equipped for the Desert
- Camels can go up to two months without having water.
- A camel's thick coat reflects light protecting its skin from the sun. The coat actually gets lighter during the summer in order to better reflect light.
- It is a common misconception that camels store water in their humps. The hump(s) are actually made up of fatty tissues which are concentrated in the hump as opposed to spread over their bodies like most other animals. This minimizes the insulating effect of the body fat which helps keep them from over heating but also provides them the fat needed for energy.
- Camelâ€™s long thin legs are designed to keep them high above and away from the blistering hot desert sand. Although thin their legs are strong and can hold loads of up to one thousand pounds (453 kilograms).
- Camels have wide feet which help it from sinking into the sand.
- The camels body has many features that protect it from blowing sand. These features include nostrils that close, long eyelashes, and ear hair.
Interesting Camel Facts
- Most of the camels in the world have been domesticated and only a small number (approximately 1000) live in the wild in the Gobi Desert in China and Mongolia.
- It is believed that the camels were first domesticated in southern Arabia in approximately 3,000 BC.
- The world's largest population of camels is on the Horn of Africa.
- The earliest known camel (Protylopus) lived in the Eocene Period (40 to 50 million years ago). It was approximately the size of a modern day rabbit.
- There use to be camels that were native to North America. They were driven to extinction by human beings who migrated to North America from Asia some 12,000 years ago over the Bering Land Bridge.
- Camels have been utilized by Calvary for centuries. Their first use was at the battle of Qarqar in 853 BC.