Camelus dromedarius

Diet: Herbivore; desert vegetation

Lifespan: Up to 40 years

Range/Habitat: Africa, Middle East and India Large wild populations in Australia dry HOT deserts

Conservation Status: domestic

The Dromedary camel is easily distringuished by it's single hump unlike the Bactrian camel of the Gobi desert which has 2 humps. A camel's hump is not used for storage of water. instead, it is a fat reserve for periods of food scarcity. In addition, the hump provides insulation from the hot desert sun and the cold on desert nights. Calluses on the legs and chest protect the camel from the hot desert sand when it is laying down. Camels can allow their body temperature to rise on hot days as a way for conserving water. Baby camels are born after a 1 year gestation and can follow the mother withing a few hours of birth. Camels were domesticated over 4,000 years ago and have been very valuable as a source of meat, milk and transportation for desert cultures