genus of mammals
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Camels are a mammal of the Camelidae family. Camels form the genus Camelus. They are also called Afro-Asiatic Camelids. There are two living species of camels. Camels have existed on Earth since prehistoric times.[2]

Temporal range: Pliocene – Recent
A shaggy two-humped camel
Bactrian camel
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Camelidae
Tribe: Camelini
Genu: Camelus
Linnaeus, 1758

Camelus bactrianus
Camelus dromedarius
Camelus ferus


Habitat and adaptationEdit

Camels in 2003.

Camels live in deserts, where it is hot and dry. Camels have adapted and found ways to help them survive in deserts. They have a thick coat of hair that protects them from the heat in the day, and keeps them warm at night. 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 of it 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.

The toes are large black, which help it to jump in the deep desert sand. There are two types of camels: the Dromedary and the Bacterian. The dromedary has one hump while the bacterian has two.[3]


A Dromedary mother and her calf.

Camels live in groups, with one male, many females, and their young calves or calf. They are animals that use their hooves.


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.


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 thorny twigs (without hurting their mouths). If there is not any regular food, camels will eat anything:, leather, even their owner's tent.


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 humansEdit

A camel train in Africa.

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, Tibetan Plateau 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.



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  2. Canada’s North, Home to Bears, and Once, Camels March 5, 2013 New York Times
  3. "Ducksters: Education Site". Retrieved 2019-02-01.