• Class:  Mammalia;   Order:  Artiodactyla;   Family:  Camelidae
• There are two surviving species of camel:
o Bactrian (2 hump) and Dromedary or Arabian (one hump).
o Tip: Turn the first letter of each animal’s name on its side. The letter B has two
humps, while the letter D has one.

Bactrian and Dromedary Camels

  • Bactrian Camel -- Camel Bactrianus

    Range: Desert and steppes in the Gobi desert.
    Habitat: Arid desert and steppes
    Conservation status: Critically endangered; 950 left in the wild in the deserts of northern Asia (2002 estimate). Domesticated since 2500 BC. Approx. 1.4 million domesticated camels alive today.
    • In the wild, live in groups of up to 30 females and young, led by an adult male
    • When rival males meet, they display by urinating, defecating, tail slapping, and spreading of hind legs – followed by combat, if necessary.
    • Eat almost any type of vegetation: leaves, grasses, shrubs
    Dromedary Camel -- Camelus dromedarius

    Range: The domesticated form occurs widely in North Africa and the middle east. Original range is not certain. A feral population in Australia is the world’s only wild population of dromedaries.

    Habitat: Deserts

    Conservation status: Domesticated; current estimates: 13 million domesticated dromedaries, mostly in western India, Pakistan, Iran, and northern Africa

    • To attract females during the mating season, males inflate a soft palate to produce a deep pink sack, often mistaken for a tongue, that hangs out the sides of the mouth
    • Diet consists of desert plants with high water content.
    • Dromedaries can last 4 times as long as a donkey and l0 times as long as a human in the desert.
    • Can go without water for l7 days.

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