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Camel Facts

This animal is well known for having a hump back and living in the desert, but did you know the camel is a very interesting animal?

There are lots of fun things to learn about the camel – read these fascinating facts about this animal.

camel's humps

There are two different types of camels – the dromedary camel (the kind that has only one hump) and the Bactrian camel (which has two humps).

Where Do Camels Live?

The one-humped camel resides in North Africa and the Middle East, while the two-humped camel is commonly found in Central Asia.

No matter where they live, camels are usually found in desert-type climates. Some camels are native to specific deserts. For example, Bactrian camels are native to the Gobi Desert in China and the Bactrian steppes of Mongolia.

Camels can also be found in cold weather climates as well, despite popular belief.

Here’s a really gross fact, so prepare yourself – people have actually drank camel urine before for medicinal purposes! I bet our medicine doesn’t look too bad now, right?

Related: Sahara Desert facts

Sahara Satellite Hires

Camel Milk Is Incredibly Nutritious

Camel milk is a nutritious beverage rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. It contains more iron, vitamin C, and unsaturated fatty acids than cow’s milk. Camel milk is also lower in lactose, making it easier for people with lactose intolerance to digest. 

It may have therapeutic benefits for people with diabetes, as it may help regulate blood sugar levels. Camel milk also contains immune-boosting compounds like lactoferrin and immunoglobulins. Although it may not be as widely available as cow’s milk, it’s becoming increasingly popular and worth considering as a healthy addition to your diet.

Lifespan Of Camel

Camels are known for their ability to survive in harsh desert environments, and they have a relatively long lifespan compared to other large mammals. In the wild, camels can live up to 40 years, while captive camels have been known to live up to 50 years or more. 

Various factors, including genetics, environment, diet, and disease, influence the lifespan of a camel. Proper care and management, including regular veterinary check-ups, can help camels live long and healthy lives.

Why Do Camels Have A Hump?

The camel’s hump is actually very useful. Contrary to popular belief, however, the camel’s hump is not filled with water.

It consists of stored fat which the camels can resource when food and water are very limited.

This fat can be broken down and used as nutrition in emergencies where food is scarce, so camels can go for days without water or food.

camel facts

Another aspect that helps camels go without water is their incredible ability to minimize their water losses.

When they use the bathroom, their droppings are very dry and their urine is extremely concentrated, allowing them to retain more water.

Here’s a gross fact – but a very true one! Believe it or not, camels have a third, clear eyelid which protects their eyes from sand and dirt blowing in the desert.

Another helpful aspect of their eyes are their two sets of eyelashes, which help keep their eyes clean.

sandstorm facts

Camels also have the handy ability of shutting their nostrils during sandstorms. As you can tell, camels are definitely meant to live in the desert.

Camels As A Mode Of Transport

Camels, like donkeys, have been used as a method of transportation for humans for a very long time – thousands of years, believe it or not.

Camels can carry up to 500 pounds on their backs, so people or goods can be transported.

Nowadays, camels are more often used for transporting products rather than people.

camels transporting people

How Fast Can A Camel Run?

Camels can run up to speeds of 40 miles per hour – that’s pretty fast for an animal thought to be rather slow, isn’t it?

What Does The Word ‘Camel’ Mean?

The word “camel” is actually Arabic and means beauty.

Camels do not start sweating until temperatures reach 106 degrees.

thermometer invention

How Big Are Camels?

Most camels are much larger than humans are. The average two-humped camel grows to a shoulder height of 6 feet (1.8 meters) in length and a body length of about 10 feet (3 meters).

They can weigh anywhere from 1,320 to 2,200 pounds.

A one-humped camel can be about 6.5 feet (2 meters) tall and weigh anywhere from 880 to 1,325 pounds.

Many people who see a camel in person are very surprised by how big they actually are.

camels for kids

Camels are not picky eaters whatsoever. In fact, due to their very thick lips, they can eat some things that would seriously hurt other animals and people – like thorn covered plants, for example.

One thing camels do not eat is meat, because they are herbivores.


How Much Water Do Camels Need?

Although camels can a long time without water, it doesn’t mean they don’t need any.

Camels typically live in very hot and dry desert climates and when they find a source of water, they fill up!

Related: Water Cycle for kids

dragonfly near water

A typical camel can down up to 30 gallons of water in a mere 13 minutes.

The camel’s body rehydrates very quickly, much faster than any other animal.

In very desperate times, camels can survive up to six months without food or water.

There Is A Camel Festival In The United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates hosts an annual Camel Festival, celebrating the country’s cultural heritage and the importance of camels in Bedouin life. The festival features various competitions, including camel racing, beauty contests, and best-dressed camel competitions. Visitors can also enjoy traditional Emirati food and music and browse the many stalls selling souvenirs and handicrafts. 

Camel Facts

The festival attracts camel owners and enthusiasts worldwide, making it a vibrant and colorful event. The festival is a testament to the UAE’s deep connection to its past and its commitment to preserving its cultural traditions.

Camels And Llamas Are Cousins

Camels and llamas are both members of the Camelidae family, making them distant cousins. They share many physical and behavioral traits, such as their ability to survive in harsh environments and their unique digestive systems. 

However, there are also significant differences between the two species, such as camels being primarily found in desert regions. In contrast, llamas are typically found in more temperate environments. 

Additionally, camels are much larger and have distinctive humps on their backs, while llamas are smaller and lack this feature. Despite their differences, both camels and llamas have played important roles in human history and continue to be valued for their unique abilities.

Camels and Llamas are cousins

Camels Spit As A Defense Mechanism

Camels are well-known for their ability to spit as a defense mechanism. Feeling threatened or agitated, they may regurgitate and expel a mixture of saliva, stomach contents, and mucus at their perceived attacker. 

This projectile can be aimed accurately up to six feet away and has a foul odor and taste, making it an effective deterrent against predators and other perceived threats. However, camels don’t spit indiscriminately and usually reserve this behavior for situations where they feel threatened or need to establish dominance within their social hierarchy.

There Are Three Species Of Camels

There are three species of camels: the Dromedary, the Bactrian, and the wild Bactrian. 

  • The dromedary, also known as the Arabian camel, has one hump and is found in the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Asia. 
  • The Bactrian camel has two humps and is native to Central and East Asia deserts. 
  • The wild Bactrian camel, also known as the Mongolian camel, is critically endangered and is found only in parts of China and Mongolia. 

These remarkable animals are well-adapted to life in harsh desert environments, with features like tough skin, the ability to store water, and specially adapted feet to help them walk on sand.

Camels Are Known For Their Ability To Do Heavy Lifting

Camels are known for their ability to do heavy lifting, both literally and figuratively. With their distinctive humps, camels are well-suited to carrying heavy loads across long distances, making them invaluable for transportation in desert regions. 

Additionally, their ability to withstand extreme temperatures and go for long periods without water or food makes them ideal for arduous journeys. Beyond their physical strength, camels are also highly valued in many cultures for their resilience, patience, and adaptability. All in all, these hardy creatures are a testament to the power of determination and endurance in the face of adversity.

Camels can do heavy lifting

The Wild Bactrian Camel Is Critically Endangered

The Wild Bactrian Camel, a rare species found in remote parts of China and Mongolia, is critically endangered, with only an estimated 1,400 individuals left in the wild. The camel faces multiple threats, including habitat loss due to mining and oil exploration, hunting for meat and hides, and competition with domestic livestock for resources. 

The species is also vulnerable to extreme weather events and diseases. Conservation efforts, such as habitat protection and anti-poaching measures, are crucial to prevent the extinction of this unique and iconic animal.

Camels Can Sleep Standing Up

Camels are well-known for their ability to adapt to extreme environments, and one of their most interesting adaptations is their ability to sleep standing up. This is due to a unique structure in their legs that allows them to lock their knees and rest their weight on their bones and tendons. 

By sleeping standing up, camels are able to avoid lying on the hot ground during the day and reduce their risk of being attacked by predators. Additionally, their ability to sleep standing up allows them to quickly get up and move if they sense danger or they need to graze.



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