To be named
A camel can live for a week without food or water; they can drink 50 gallons (220 litres) at a time.
Like Llamas they have 3 pairs of eyelids, including one that is see-through, to keep out the sand. They also have the ability to close their nostrils and are all 'pad-footed' animals.
Camels walk with a rolling motion, moving both legs on one side at the same time. They have a slightly unfair reputation of spitting which they do in defence, but not in aggression.
Camelids are all ruminants which means that like cattle they regurgitate their food and "chew the cud". Camels can browse trees, including thorns and can even eat rope, tents and blankets! So watch your handbag!
The Bactrian Camel has two humps and originates in the dry desert areas of Asia. Camels have been domesticated for 4,000 years.
Camels mate in the autumn and pregnancy lasts 15 months. After birth the young camel stays with its mother for up to 3 years, until it is mature to breed. The mother can breed again immediately after giving birth.
They have many unique features unknown in other mammals:
Camels have padded feet with two toes that spread out over sand or mud and stop the animal sinking in.
Most animals store their fat mixed with muscle tissue or under the skin. Camels are the only ones to store it in humps. The hump can weigh 35 kgs (80lbs).
A camel uses about 5 gallons (20 litres) of water a day in summer, but it can store 25 gallons (100 litres) in its fat or body tissues. It can then use this water over a long period if it does not get a drink. It can also concentrate its urine to save water. When it is able to drink it can take in 27 gallons (110 litres) in 10 minutes.
The Bactrian camel is the only mammal able to survive on salt water. These are the biggest camels, over 8ft tall, that have two humps. The humps are also the energy reserves, allowing the camels to last 2 weeks or more without eating.
Three Pairs of Eyelids
Camels have amazing eyes. Not only are they big and beautiful, but they have three sets of eyelids. Two of these eyelids have long eye-lashes. The third eyelid is thin and see-through, for the camel to see in a sand storm. They also have noses and ears equipped for sand storms, because both can close.
Temperature and Elliptical Blood Cells
The camel has a huge temperature range for its body heat. Its temperature may start the day at 370C and rise to 420C. This means it does not need so much energy to keep warm in cold weather and does not need to sweat as much in hot weather. They have unique elliptical blood cells that allow this and water absorption to happen. All other mammals have round (doughnut shaped) blood cells.
Camels like cattle have no incisor teeth on the top so they eat with their tongues and they are ruminants, so they chew the cud, but have 3 stomachs, not 4 like the cow/sheep/goat family.
Milk and Pregnancy
Camels milk is unique among those animals farmed by man, the fat does not separate by rising to the top or churning, like the cattle family's milk. Camels are pregnant for 15 months. Sometimes well fed zoo camels give birth.
Male camels have an air filled sac connected to their breathing system, which extends out of its mouth at times of sexual excitement. Very few people get the chance to see male camels showing their dulaa.