Often they call these animals 'the ships of the desert.' These animals are used as transport in very hot and dry places, since they can go long distances without needing water and and also carry the cargo and easily walk over the sand.
There are two species of true camel. The Dromedary, is a single humped camel that lives in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa area. The Bactrian, is a two-humped camel that lives in areas of Central Asia.
Besides from being used in the desert for transport of humans and goods, they can also be used for their meat, hair and milk.
A camel is quite big and can reach lengths up to 2 m at the hump, weigh between 300 to 1000 kg and they can grow quite old. Some even up to 50 years. They can also run fast and if they keep a speed of about 40 km/h they can carry on for quite a while.
Most people believe that the camels 'store' the water in their hump, but the truth is, fat is stored in the hump which can be turned into water and energy as the camel needs it. A camel is able to survive up to 6 months on the fatty storage in its hump.
The camel has adapted well to survive the heat during the day and the cold at night in the desert. The hair isolates the camels body and during summer time, it turns lighter in order to reflect the sun light.
The long legs keep the body higher from the hot sand and when it lies down, there is a space between the body and the sand so that the wind can blow underneath the body and cool it down.
It also have long eyelashes and nostrils and ear hair that can close to keep the sand out.
They have big feet that gives a big area that comes in contact with the sand, so that their weight is spread evenly and they do not sink into the sand easily.
A camel is the animal that can hydrate the fastest of all animals. In just 13 minutes it can drink up to 113 l water.
Camels have long been used in wars. Romans used camels for their ability to scare off horses who are afraid of their scent, and in recent times camels have been used to carry heavy gear and troops across hot sandy deserts.
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