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Camel Facts and Resources for Kids

A camel is a mammal that is best known for the humps on its back. The dromedary species of camel has only one hump on its back, while the Bactrian species camel has two humps. These humps are often misbelieved as being water storage deposits on the animals. However, the humps do not store water, but fat. In times of drought and famine, the camel body uses the fat storage on their backs to feed themselves and give them energy to continue in their search for food and water. Subsequently, when food and water and plentiful, camels eat heartily, increasing the size of their hump(s) in anticipation of the next time food and water might be lacking.

Other animals that are closely related to camels include llamas, alpacas, guanaco and vicuña.

What is the scientific Classification of a Camel?

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Camelidae
Genus: Camelus
Species: C. bactrianus, C. dromedarius, C. gigas, C. hesternus, C. sivalensis

Quick fun facts about Camels

Latin name
C. bactrianus, C. dromedarius, C. gigas, C. hesternus, C. sivalensis

Camels breeding
Camels breed during a certain season. The season depends on the availability of food and the temperature, which varies depending on the region in which the animals are located. The male and female mate and when the female is pregnant, she is in gestation for around 400 days, or just over one year.

Camels color
Camels are a solid light brown color. Their entire bodies are covered singular-colored fur. They do not have any distinctive markings or patterns.

Life expectancy of Camels
The average life expectancy of camels is between 40 or 50 years, depending on whether the animal is wild or not. The life span also depends on the species of camel, and where it is living in the world. Some animals are more likely to be hunted than others, while other camels are at a high risk for disease.

Predators of the Camel
The main predators of camels are wolves. Camels are large and fast. They live in hot, dry climates, where there are not many large animals. As such, their main threat is humans that are hunting the animals for sport or for food.

What is a baby Camel known as
A baby camel is called a calf or a git.

Female Camels are called
A female camel is called a mare.

Male Camels are called
A male camel is called a bull.

A group of Camels is called
A group of camels is called a caravan or a herd.

How tall is a Camel? 
The typical height of a fully matured camel is around 73 inches tall at their shoulder. The height at the top of their humps can be as high as 90 inches. When the hump is at its largest (after the animal has consumed a large amount of food and water), the hump can rise as tall as 30 inches from the camel’s back.

How much does a Camel weigh?
A male camel can weigh between 800 and 1,400 pounds, depending on the species. A female camel can weigh between 500 and 800 pounds, depending on the species.

What do Camels eat?
Camels live in extremely desolate environments. While domesticated camels are well fed, wild camels feed on anything that they can find, include inedible objects such as leather and bones. Typically, though, camels feed on twigs, seeds, leaves and desert plants.

How fast can camels run?
Camels can run up to 40 miles per hour in short bursts. They can sustain speeds of 25 miles per hour for long periods of time.

How much water do camels drink?
The term “drink like a camel” is somewhat accurate. When camels find water to drink, they have been known to consume up to 30 gallons of water in 10 or 15 minutes. However, camels can also survive for a week without any water at all.

What special traits do camels have to protect them from the harsh desert conditions?
Camels store fat in their humps to continually supply energy in times of drought and famine. The animals have a dual set of eyelids, and their nostrils can shut completely. Both of these characteristics allow them to shut out sand during violent desert windstorms.

Conservation status of Camels

C. bactrianus/ferus Critically endangered

The Bactrian camel is critically endangered. Over the next three generations, the population will likely fall by 80% of the current population. Bactrian camels were listed as Vulnerable from 1986 until 1994. They moved up on the list to Endangered in 1996, and in 2002, they were once again promoted, this time to Critically Endangered status.
The species is shrinking in population largely due to hunting by humans. They are being affected by human industrial development in their native areas. Camels are being preyed on by wild wolves and are not mating quickly enough to regenerate population numbers.

Where do Camels Live

Camels are located throughout central and northern Africa, and parts of the Middle East and Asia. 25% of the total world camel population is centralized in Somalia. The animals are used by human populations for milk, transportation and food. They are almost all domesticated, and nearly no wild camels remain in the country.

At one point in time, there were enormous populations of camels inhabiting Australia. These wild animals were greatly reduced due to a decision made by the government to reduce the population of the camels because they were using too many of the natural resources needed by humans in the regions. Additionally, camels once inhabited the United States. They were originally imported as part of a program called the US Camel Corps. The program was begun to test the use of camels as transport animals in the mid 19th century. While the animals were extremely successful as pack and transport animals, they proved difficult to tame, and unable to get along with horses traveling in the same packs. Ultimately, the US Camel Corps project was shut down and the camels were either sold to private owners or set free in the desert. No camels are known to remain in the southwestern United States today.