Camels are mammals of the Camelidaefamily. Camels form the genusCamelus. They are also called Afro-Asiatic Camelids. There are two living species of camels. Camels have existed on Earth since prehistoric times.
Habitat and adaptation[change | change source]
Camels live in deserts, where it is hot and dry. Camels have adaptations that help them live in deserts. They have a thick coat of hair that protects them from the sun. They have wide, soft feet, so they can walk a long time in the hot sand.
Several adaptations help a camel live in a desert . Their large feet spreads their weight on the sand when they are walking. When there is food and water, a camel can eat and drink large amounts and store it as fat in the hump. Then, when there is no food or water, the camel uses the fat for energy, and the hump becomes small and soft. A camel’s waste contains very little water. Even the water from the camel’s breath flows back into its mouth.The camels have bushy eyebrows that don't let the sand go in their eyes in a sandstorm. It has a long slender neck in order to reach high leaves such as palm trees, and rubbery patches on the belly and knees to protect the skin when kneeling and sitting on the hot sand. These form after five years of age.
A camel has a naturally adapted temperature regulation - it can change its bodily temperature by six degrees Celsius either way. It has two sets of eyelashes, closing muscles in the nasal passages with slited nostrils, hairy ears and tough, leathery skin to protect the camels skin in vital emergencies such as a sandstorm. It has thick rubbery lips to eat dry, prickly plants and a large, haired tail to swat pests such as mosquitos and flies.
Life[change | change source]
Camels live in groups, with one male, several females, and their young calves.
Reproduction[change | change source]
An unborn camel gestates about 9 to 11 months. There is usually one calf per birth. A camel calf can run only a few hours after it is born. Calves are weaned when they are about 1 year old.
Diet[change | change source]
In the desert, people feed camels with grass, grains, wheat and oats. When camels are travelling in the desert, food is often very hard to find. So the animal might have to live on dried leaves, seeds, and thornytwigs (without hurting their mouths). If there is not any regular food, camels will eat anything:, leather, even their owner's tent.
Digestion[change | change source]
Camels are ruminants but camels do not chew their food very well before swallowing. The first stomach stores the food that is not completely chewed. Later, this food (or cud) returns to the camel's mouth, and the camel chews it again. Then the camel swallows the cud and it goes to the other parts of the stomach to be completely digested.
Camels and humans[change | change source]
Camels have been domesticated by humans for about 5000 years. They are used for riding and to carry things, and for meat, milk and wool.
As domesticated animals they are used in Africa, Asia, and since the 19th century also in Australia. About 900-1000 wild Bactrian Camels still live in China and Mongolia. There are no wild Dromedaries anymore, but there are escaped domestic Dromedaries in Australia. Today there are about 50,000 Dromedaries living wild in the Outback in Australia.
A Dromedary and a Bactrian Camel can have hybrid children that are called Tulus or Bukhts. These hybrids are larger than the Dromedary or Bactrian Camel and have either one long hump or one small and one big hump.
When a camel calf reaches one year of age, the owner often teaches it to stand and kneel on command. They also learn to carry small, light packs around. As they grow older, the size of the pack also increases.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Camelus.|
Gallery[change | change source]
Two camels used for riding.
References[change | change source]
Source: Click Here
The camel has been entwined with human civilization for thousands of years. Initially, camels were utilized for nourishment, given the protein they could provide for early nomadic humans feeding off their meat. The camel allowed these humans to survive in harsh climates, both freezing climates and the harsh, hot desert. Beyond this point, camels began to be used for their other resources, initially for milk, followed by the use of their labor both in agricultural settings and for carrying heavy loads across vast distances, such as on the Silk Road. Camels were then used in battle throughout many points in history, almost always delivering their humans to victory. Their use was almost always in bringing economic development to human civilizations, and they played a vital role in the advancement human society. But throughout their extensive use, they have almost always been overlooked for their contributions, if not physically ignored in times of drought or difficult economic situations. In biblical times, camels were considered dirty, lowly creatures, despite their use for transport of valuables. In other modern cultures, camels are used as a cultural symbol, but still utilized for their economic value in events such as camel racing. Even in the instances that camels were used to aid war efforts, their were disbanded and ignored post-war. These invaluable creatures have aided the development of civilization beyond quantifiable measures, but they are not even given the valued status of other animals, such as the noble horse. Why is this? I believe an explanation could be the desire for humans to collect credit for their developments. Instead of giving credit to the resilient efforts of camels, humans would rather value their brave efforts in battle, or their strength in moving goods across expansive trails to economically develop their civilizations. But even though human history has failed to acknowledge the camel, I hope my work can serve as a small piece of gratitude to hard-working, relentless animals. I can’t even image my own world without the propulsion that camels gave to human society. And even if no one else can be convinced, I, for one, am grateful.