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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Camels: Ships of Deserts

Incredible Facts about Camels:

  • Camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand. Camelids lie down to rest and sleep.
  • Camels have a split upper lip, which aids them in grazing.
  • Camels feet are soft and spread out so they won't sink in the sand. They have two toes on each foot joined by a tough web and leathery padded souls.
  • Camel's coat moult in spring and grow a new coat by autumn. A camel sheds around 2kgs of wool every time they moult.
  • Camels eat vegetation and feed on grasses. They frequently seek out plants high in salt content.
  • A camel’s body temperature rises during the heat of the day and then cools down at night.
  • A camels can go for days or weeks with little or no water or food.
  • A camel’s stomach has three sections, similar to a domestic cow (bovine). This makes it a ruminant.
  • The camel's nickname "Ships of the Desert" comes from their walk. Like a giraffe, the camel moves both legs on one side of its body at the same time, then the other side. The rolling motion resembles a ship at sea.
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Camelidae
Genus: Camelus

Camels are even-toed ungulates within the genus Camelus. The dromedary, one-humped or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the Bactrian camel has two humps. They are native to the dry desert areas of western Asia, and central and east Asia, respectively. The term camel is also used more broadly to describe any of the six camellike creatures in the family Camelidae: the two true camels, and the four South American camelids, the llama, alpaca, guanaco, and vicuña. The camel's average life expectancy of a camel is forty to fifty years. A fully-grown adult camel stands 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) at the shoulder and 2.15 m (7 ft 1 in) at the hump. The hump rises about thirty inches (75 cm) out of its body. Camels can run up to 65 km/h (40 mph) in short bursts and sustain speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph). A female camel is a cow, a male camel is a bull and a baby camel is a calf. When calves are born they weigh 30-40kgs but by the time they're adults, they weigh around 500-600kgs. They get to this size at 6-7 years but can live up to 50 years. Calves remain close to their mother until they are around 5 years old.


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