A camel is an animal in the class of mammals that have legs and necks and have humps.
Some camels have one hump while others have two humps. The one humped camel is referred to as Dromedary or Arabian camel while the one humped camel is referred to as the Bactrian camel.
They are domestic animals that are mostly found in dry areas which are their most viable habitat. They can however survive in cool and wet climates as well.
Adaptations of camels
Since camels are among the few animals that can survive in deserts and dry areas, there are certain adaptations of the animal that has made this possible.
- Camels have humps that store fat. These humps metabolize to produce energy if the camel goes for long without eating food.
- Camels also have wide feet that make it easy for them to walk on sand without them sinking into it.
- The animals also have long eyelashes and thick eyebrows. The long eyelashes prevent desert sand from getting into their eyes while the thick eyebrows act as shields against the sun.
- It has nostrils that can open and close. This is to prevent sand from getting into their nose.
- The camel’s skin is made up of thick fur and under-wool that enables it to generate heat during cold desert nights and insulate against excessive heat during the day.
- It has long and strong legs. These enable the animal to carry heavy luggage over long distances and the long legs also ensure that the upper body is far away from the hot desert sand.
- The knees of a camel have thick and leather patches. These enable the camel to kneel on hot sand without getting burnt.
Importance of camels
- Domesticated camels are a source of food. Camels produce meat and milk that is fit for human consumption.
- The skin of camels can be used to make textile leather products like shoes and clothes.
- A camel is also a means of transport. They can be used to transport people and luggage over long distances especially in dry lands.
- A camel is also the only domestic animal that can survive harsh desert conditions. This is important to people living in arid areas where they cannot raise any other animals.
- Camels are a source of income. They are a source of income to the people living in arid areas as they can sell the milk, meat and skin. They can also charge for transportation services.
- The camel dung can be used as a source of fuel. This is an aspect that can be used to generate alternative sources of energy.
- There are also areas where a camel is used for fun and entertainment. Camels can be found in parks and show grounds where people ride them for fun.
How to take care of camels
- If you have domesticated a camel, you should ensure that you give it fresh and clean water. Although they can survive for long without water, you should give them water when available to keep them hydrated.
- You should also build a tall hut or stall for your camel. This is to protect them from rain and bad weather.
- Ensure that you clean the camel’s fur and stalls. This is to ensure that it is not prone to fleas and other parasites.
- You should also maintain veterinary visits.
- You should also ensure that you do not abuse the camel and that you adhere to stipulated animal rights.
- You can also train your camel when they are young to make them used to following your commands.
Camels have mostly been known as desert animals due to the adaptations that have enabled them to survive in their natural habitats. However, due to the numerous benefits that these animals offer, they are now being domesticated all over the world. In order to reap from their benefits, it is important to take care of the animals to ensure that their health and well being is maintained.