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Camels are mammals belonging to the Camelidae family. They are the only family within the sub-order Tylopoda, which are one of three sub-orders in the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates.

There are three genera and five species within Camelidae. The genus Lama and Vicugna have four species (Llama peruana [Llama], Llama pacos [Alpaca], Llama guanaco [Guanaco] and Vicugna vicugna [Vicuña]) found in the South American Andes. The Camelus genus has two species, Camelus dromedarius, the one-humped camel found in the Indian sub-continent and the Arabian peninsula and Camelus bactrianus found in Turkestan and Mongolia.

 

Physiognomy : Camelus dromedarius
Information from Arab-Net
Female cows gestate for 13 months and usually give birth to a single calf. The calves can walk within a few hours of birth, but usually stay with their mothers until they reach maturity at five years of age. A fully grown camel stands 1.80 meters at the shoulder and 2.10 meters at the hump and weighs up to 700 kg. They live for around 40 years.

Camels have broad, flat, leathery pads with two toes on each foot which distribute the camels weight, preventing the foot from sinking into the sand. They walk at around 5 kmh and can gallop at 20 kmh.

Camels are adapted to hot, arid conditions. They do not pant and can raise their body temperature as high as 40.5°C to avoid perspiring and losing fluid. Their ears are lined with fur and their eyes have a double row of long curly eyelashes to protect against desert sand.

Camels are browsers with a split-upper lip, 34 sharp teeth and a multi-chambered stomach. They browse a range of plants, but particularly like plants with high-moisture and mineral content. A camel gulps down its food without chewing it first, later regurgitating the undigested food and chewing it in cud form.

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