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Baby camels are born without humps. They are however able to run within hours of birth. They call to their mothers with a lamb-like “baa” sound. Mother and child camel pairings are extremely close, staying together for several years.


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Facts about camels

  • Camels are social animals who roam the deserts in search of food and water with up to 30 other individuals.
  • With the exception of rutting males competing for females, camels are very peaceful animals who rarely exhibit aggression.
  • Contrary to popular misconception, camels do not store water in their humps. The humps are actually reservoirs for fatty tissue. Concentrating fat in their humps minimises insulation throughout the rest of the body, thus allowing camels to survive in such extreme hot regions.
  • Asian camels have two humps whereas Arabian camels only have one.
  • Camels have two rows of thick eyelashes to protect their eyes from the desert dust. They are also able to close their nostrils and lips to keep out the dust.
  • Camels’ ears are small and hairy. However their sense of hearing is also extremely strong.
  • The amount of water a camel drinks on a day-to-day basis can vary greatly, as they drink to replace only the fluid they’ve lost. A thirsty camel can drink up to 135 liters in one sitting!
  • In Arab cultures the camel symbolises patience, tolerance and endurance.
  • Camels have played such an important role in Arabian culture that there are over 160 words for ‘camel’ in the Arabic language.
  • Although camels belong in the wild they are still used by travelling circuses in the UK. Find out about OneKind's campaign to end the use of wild animals in circuses.

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Quick Facts

  • Type: Mammal
  • Diet: Predominantly herbivorous
  • Life span:  Up to 45 years
  • Size: 1.5-2.1 m tall, males larger than females
  • Weight: 400-600 kg, males heavier than females
  • Habitat: Deserts, mountains and other arid regions
  • Range: Africa and the Middle-East, and Asia
  • Scientific name: Camelus
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