- Genus/Species: Camelus dromedaries
- Conservation Status: Not enough data
- Location: Middle East and Northern Africa, as well as parts of Australia and Namibia.
Just One Hump
The dromedary camel is found in deserts and semi-arid regions, and is different from its cousin the bactrian camel in that it has just one hump, not two. The hump does not contain water, but stores up to 80 lbs of fat. When food is not available the camel breaks down the fat into water and energy. Dromedary camels can go without water for long periods, but when they do drink, they soak up water like a sponge. These camels have nostrils that close to keep out the sand and they have bushy eyebrows and two rows of long eyelashes to protect their eyes. Their large, tough lips enable them to pick at dry and thorny desert vegetation, while their big thick footpads help them move easily through the rocky landscape and shifting desert sands. Their body temperature varies widely, compared to most other mammals, and they also sweat very little, which helps them to conserve water.
Dromedary camels are tall- they stand around 7 feet at the hump which is about a foot taller than an average tall man. They are heavy too, and can weigh up to 1500 lbs, which would be the weight of two small motorcycles. These camels will eat almost anything available in their habitat. They will feed for 8 to 12 hours a day, with most of their food being from shrubs and weeds. Salt and salt-loving plants are important parts of the diet of a dromedary camel.
One of the reasons why the camel is not in danger of extinction is because of its feeding behavior. It selects only a few leaves from each plant. A camel is also capable of eating parts of the foliage that other species do not, like thorns. This means it does not compete with other animals for food, and is capable of surviving in the harshest conditions.
Did You Know?
- The dromedary camel is capable of drinking 30 gallons of water in just 10 minutes.
- The dromedary camel can travel up to 100 desert miles without drinking water.
- Dromedary camels can carry large loads for up to 25 miles a day.
- Camels move both legs on one side of the body at the same time, unlike most other animals.