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WHAT IS A CAMEL?


There are two major types of Camels - the bactrian camel has 2 humps while the dromedary or arabian camel has one. Camels are known to live alone or in groups of up to 30 other Camels. A little known fact about the Camel is that they are really good swimmers and they can withstand extreme heat and cold. Camels can live up to 35 years, but working camels are generally retired at 20-25 years.



A camel's diet consists of any vegitation that can be found in their surroundings. The camel has no teeth on its front upper jaw which is a hard pad. It has teeth on its lower jaw and teeth on both upper and lower jaws at the back of its mouth. In all the camel's mouth houses 34 teeth. As in horses, a camel's teeth can give an indication of its age. Camels begin to grow their permanent teeth at about 4-5 years at which stage they lose their milk (deciduous) teeth.














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Camels are used for transportation, clothing, leather, milk. They are called the ‘ship of the desert’. They have been domesticated as beasts of burden longer than any other mammal. The camel family apparently originated in North America and from there migrated to South America (llamas) and Asia. Fossil camels can be found along the Great Salt Lake. Did you know that you can tell how healthy a Camel is by inspecting their hump? The camel's hump is made up of a white soft fat supported by fibrous tissue. A fat camel's hump will be large and extend down the sides of its body whereas in a lean camel, where the camel has drawn on its hump's resources for sustenance, the hump size will be depleted and will tend to droop over to one side.

 

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