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Friday, July 1, 2016

Bactrian Camel

Photo Credit: J. Patrick Fischer
The Bactrian camel is the only truly wild, two-humped camel in the world. In the Gobi desert, and, like the one-humped camel, it can go for long periods without water.

The Bactrian camel is named after the part of the region it inhabits, Bactrian, on the border of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan (former Soviet Union).

Once found over a vast range of Asia, Bactrian camels now inhabit only Mongolia's remote Gobi desert. They are specially adapted to cope with the extreme climate found in this region. They form small groups of six to twenty animals that are led by a mature male. You males spend most of their time wondering alone.

Like most domestic cows, camels are ruminants, meaning they feed and then regurgitate the food and chew it again. This is also called chewing the cud. Able to survive on extremely sparse vegetation, they eat the tough grass, herbs, thin branches, and foliage of the shrubs that grow in their arid environment. They search for food in the morning and evening and chew cud in the afternoon.

Did you know?
  • A Bactrian camel can drink quantities equaling up to 30 percent of its body weight at one time.
  • In the desert without water, a camel can survive up to 10 times as long as a human and four times as long as a donkey. 
  • Males, female, and young camels are known respectively as stallions, mares, and calves.

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