TheTwo True Camels
The Two Camels
The Bactrian and Dromedary are the 2 species of camel that belong to the genus Camelus.
In fact the name Camel is used to describe in broad terms the six camel-like creatures that belong to the family Camelidae. There are the 2 TRUE camels mentioned above and also the 4 South American Camelids (Guanaco, Llama, Alpaca and Vicùna.)
Both of these species have been domesticated for millennial, and are used both for work, and for food.
They provide milk and meat,Camel meat is not fatty it is somewhat dry to eat and in some dishes is mixed with other meats to make it more palatable, particularly to the more(sophisticated palate).
The humps on these camels are in fact fatty deposits which break down into water and energy thus enabling the Camel to be able to travel great distances without eating or drinking and doing this in enormously high temperatures. The other thing is that camels rarely sweat, their heavy coat actually helps prevent this.
Once they reach a water source they sop up water like a sponge taking just over 10 Min's to drink down 30gallons.
Their nostrils are specially adapted to deal with all the dust of the desert and they have very thick eyebrows and a double row of eyelashes which also help with the amount of dust that is encountered.
The Dromedary(Arabian) Camel(Camelus Dromedarius)
There Are around 14 million dromedaries alive today, mostly domesticated. These animals live in the Horn of Africa, Middle East and South East Asia.
There is also a small population of introduced camels of both species in South West of the U.S.A.
There are around another 1,000,000 living feral in central parts of Australia and the government there has actually taken up a program of culling them using ariel marksmen simply because they are taking up room and eating vegetation needed by the huge amount of sheep in there.
These single humped members of the Camel family mainly inhabit and are worked and used in the drier more arid parts of Middle East.
They have a life expectancly of 40-50years, and are not only used as pack animals and pulling carts, but provide very healthy, low cholestrol milk and meat.
Bactrian Camel (Camelus Bactrianus)
These are in fact endangered and altogether number only 1.4 million animals worldwide and of these there is only one group of truly wild Bactrians numbering about 1000 animals. They live in the Gobi desert of Mongolia and China.
These are the 2 humped cousins of the Dromedary and are used in a similar way.
They grow a very thick coat in the winter months because of the great fluctuations in temperature in the desert , but this is shed as the seasons change.
Camels have been raced every since they were known to be able to be domesticated.
Nowadays the racing camels are very highlybred (thoroughbreds) and are generally Dromedaries, although they are much sleeker and more beautiful. These creatures can reach speeds of up to 40kmh, can run at speeds of 18kmh for an hour nonstop and maintain a speed of 7kmh for up to 18hrs..
Camel racing is very big business and particularly popular in The Emirates.
The thoroughbreds of the true Camels
Do Camels spit and how to avoid being slimed.
Camels do not actually spit when they get angry, its more like "throwing-up"!
Instead of saliva they let out partially digested food, (CUD) . Once it reaches their mouths they flap their heads and the SLIME slides out onto their droopy lips and then they use these to fling it into the air.....................LOVELY!!!
So, if you don't want to get covered in slimy , yucky, camel regurgitation, be nice to them.
Claire (author) on April 13, 2012:
Thankyou, thankyou. I also thought that camels spat until I actually wrote this and did athe reasearch.
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on April 13, 2012:
Voted awesome and beautiful. Thanks for giving me more than I knew about camels. I had erroneously been told that they spit, which I'm pleased that you clarified. They are beautiful animals.
Claire (author) on April 12, 2012:
Eiddwen, again thankyou for your support and very kind comment. I always thought camels looked "snooty", now I know thats not the case at all.
Eiddwen from Wales on April 12, 2012:
Oh yes another great hub ; I loved it and learnt os much about these wonderful animals that I didn't know too much about.
Another 'up up and away ' now.
Take care and enjoy your day.
Claire (author) on April 10, 2012:
Thankyou for the vote. Yes, I think camels have nice big eyes too.
moonlake from America on April 10, 2012:
Interesting hub. Love the looks of camels with their big eyes. Voted Up.