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Quick Facts
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Camelidae
Genus: Camelus
Species: dromedarius

Height: 84 inches
Length: 84 - 121 inches
Weight: 1000 - 1500 lbs
Gestation: 455 days
Offspring: 1
Life Span: 40 years
Top Speed (Ground): 20 mph

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Dromedarian Camel

Camelus dromedarius

Also Called: Arabian Camel or Ship of the desert

The most distinctive feature of the dromedarian camel is its hump. Unlike the bactrian camel, the dromedarian camel only has one. This hump, contrary to popular belief, is designed to store fat (not water) for nourishment when food is scarceWhat does scarce mean?. However, it is true that dromedarian camels can go several days without water. In addition to the water that is normally stored in the body, the bactrian camel stores about 1.5 gallons in special sacks around its stomach. When water is available, they drink only to replace the water they have lost. If the dromedarian camel has used up all its water reserves, it will need to drink about 30 gallons of water to fill up. This only takes about 10 minutes. The camel is extremely well suited to water conservation. It sweats very little, emits very little water as a waste fluid, and can change its body temperature threshold depending on the ambientWhat does ambient mean? temperature to help contain water loss. Dromedarian camels are usually a caramel or sandy brown color with hair that ranges from short to long depending on the season. They have a long curve neck and a deep, narrow chest. To protect themselves from sand and the harsh conditions they live in, they bushy eyebrows, a double row of long eyelashes, hair inside the ear, and they can tightly close their nostrils and lips to keep out flying sand. They have very tough mouths that are not bothered by eating hard, sharp objects such as thorns. Dromedarian camels have feet that are adapted to moving on sand and do not handle muddy or slick conditions well. Dromedarian camels are unknown in the wild and are considered completely domesticated.

Dromedarian camels are classified as herbivoresWhat does herbivores mean?. They prefer vegetation that is prickly, dry, salty, and/or bitter. They forageWhat does forage mean? for food and travel long distances and eat sparingly off of plants in their range. This reduces the strain on the ecosystem where they live.

The dromedarian camel lives primarily in African, Indian, and Middle Eastern deserts.

Other than man, the primary predatorWhat does predator mean? of the camel is the tiger.

Dromedarian camels travel the desert in caravans made up of 6 to 20 camels. These groups are composed of an adult male, several females and their associated young. When traveling, the females lead and the male directs from the rear. Normally, dromedarian camels are very placidWhat does placid mean? and usually only become aggressive during mating season. Dromedarian camels have been domesticated for the last 4000 years and have played a vital part in desert cultures.

Young camels are able to stand and walk when they are only a few hours old. They will stay with their mother for 1 to 2 years.

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