Ata Allah • The people of the desert call the camel Ata Allah, “God’s Gift.” • The camel provides the desert nomad with: • Transportation • Shade • Milk • meat • Fur • hides
Types of Camels There are two types of camels in the world. • Arabian or dromedary – 1 hump • Asian Bactrian – 2 humps
Camel History • Camels are often referred to as “ships of the desert” because they carry freight and people across long distances. • The camel is believed to be the most ancient of ruminants. • They originated in the Americas about 40,000,000 years ago. • They migrated to Asia by the time of the last Ice Age, millions of years ago. • Camels had been domesticated in Arabia by 1800 B.C. • They were domesticated in Central Asia by 400 B.C. • North American camels became extinct about 15,000 years ago.
Camel Importance • They are used to carry freight. • Their meat and milk are consumed by desert people. • Their hair is shorn and used to make rugs, ropes, garments, and tents. • Their hide is tanned into leather. • The dried dung is used as fuel. • Mounted camel units have been used over the centuries by military and police forces.
Dromedary • Facts: • Height: to shoulder:6-7ft. to hump: 6-8 ft • Length: body: 7-11 ft, tail: up to 2 ft • Weight: 1,000-1500lb • Sexual Maturity: 5 years • Gestation: 370-440 days • No. of Young: 1 • Lifestyle: forms groups of up to 30 animals • Diet: any suitable vegetation • Lifespan: 17-50 years • Humps: 1 • Has not existed as a wild species (except for feral ones in Australia) for several hundred years.
C A R A V A N C A M E L
Additional Information • Its nose can hold moisture from the air it breathes. • Its hump stores up to 80 lb. of fat that it can break down through oxidation into water and energy. • They can travel 2 1/2 miles per hour for 12 hours or 100 miles without a drink carrying up to 900 lb. But the usual load is 300 lb. • Camels rarely sweat. • They can stretch their neck to graze on vegetation up to 11 feet off of the ground.
History • The only species of camel that is wild and not feral. • There are fewer than 1000 still in the wild. • They are an endangered species. • It was domesticated as early as 2000 BC. • They were used to carry goods and supplies across the plains of Central Asia. • They are the original silk route camels. • Name is derived from Baktria, on the Oxus River in northern Afghanistan. • They live in the Gobi Desert.
Bactrian Facts • They are adapted to live in cold climates. • Height: to shoulder: 6 ft • Height to Hump: up to 7 ft. • Length: 11-12 ft, including tail (21 -25 in. long) • Weight: 1,000-1500 lb. • Sexual maturity: 5 years • Gestation: about 13 months • No. of young: 1 • Habit; Females live in small herds with 1 male. Other males solitary. • Diet: grasses and shrubs • Lifespan: longest recorded, 50 years. • Humps: 2 • Legs are very short for walking on hilly rocky ground.
Additional Information • They can carry a load of up to 450 lb. • They can travel 20 to 25 miles a day on high, dry plateaus, climbing among mountaintops more than 10,000 feet high. • They can run for several hours without stopping in the summer. • The are an important source of wool, meat, and transportation. • They can tolerate great variations in body temperature: from 86 degrees to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. • They can walk on slippery ground that dromedary camels cannot handle.