What is a Camel?

Camels play a vital role especially in the less agro-ecological conditions and are used as the primary source of transport, food, and protection. The reason behind this is its multi-purpose features and capability to adapt to harsh conditions. Here we are going to brief you on the physical, biological and cultural significance of this amazing creature as well as simply answer the question…. what is a camel?

What is a camel?

Camel is a unique-looking and distinctive among all the animals, thanks to its hump. The long legs and even-toed animals are in the last 3000 years and used as the main transport medium in arid conditions. Here we have come up with a comprehensive article on camel information so that you can be familiar with the significance of this animal.

It has the capacity to travel as fast as a horse and sustain harsh conditions without water and food. The word “Camel” derives in Arabic, from the Greek word Camelus that represents beauty. There are more than 14 million camels across the world but mostly in Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.

They belong to Camelidae family and prevalent as the lifeline of desolate tracts. The genetic makeup makes them withstand extreme environmental conditions.

Physical Significance of a camel

The ship of the desert belongs to the Camelus genus and there are mainly three types of camels in the world today. They are:

The Wild Bactrian Camel


It is native to central Asian steppes. It features a double hump and mostly available on the Gobi deserts. They move through the desert in a group of 2 to 100 and collects food as well as water.

The Dromedary Camel


It is also known as an Arabian camel. It comes with a single hump. Its biological name is Camelus dromedarius and tallest among the three types of camels.

A male Dromedary weighs between 400 Kg and 600 Kg whereas a female weighs between 300 KG and 540 Kg. They feature a narrow chest, long hairs, twisted neck and stay in herds of 20 camels, led by a male dromedary. It primarily depends on desert herbs and other vegetation as camel food. You can find them all across the desert of Asia, Africa, and Australia. It used as a domestic animal and the main source of meat and milk in deserts.

The Bactrian Camel

It is an existent type of camel that survives in the Central Asian Steppes. It belongs to the Camelidae family. Its biological name is Camelus bactrianus. This type of camels features a length of 220 cm to 350 cm starting from head to body along with a tail length of 35 cm to 55 cm. The colour of this camel varies from beige to dark brown. It weighs between 300 kg and 1000 kg. The lifespan of camels belonging to this species is around 50 years.


Although a they feature a different body structure, it can compete with a horse and match a speed up to 40 kmph as per requirement. In general, it can comfortably run at a speed of 25 kmph.

Furthermore, ship the the desert is capable of carrying a weight of up to 600 lbs on its back. In general, a Bactrian camel reaches up to a shoulder height of 6 feet and a body length of 10 feet whereas a Dromedary camel grows up to 6.5 feet. Nature gives an adaptable body to a camel for surviving harsh conditions such as sandstorms and hot sands.

It features furry ears that protect the sand away from the ears and it can close its nostrils completely in between two breaths without difficulty. Specially designed feet also allow the camel to prevent sinking the feet in the sand.

Primarily a camel is not particular about its diet. It is herbivores and completely dependent on herbs as camel food. Their thick lips help in eating thorny plants. On the other hand, they can drink water up to 30 gallons within 13 minutes. The camel body is capable of re-hydrating faster than any other mammal at present.

It is true that most of the animals cannot survive for a longer time when they have water loss of up to 15 percent. While in such cases, a camel will not dehydrate and go through harsh conditions after losing more than 25 percent of water from its body.

Biological Significance

A camel is usually meant for desert and steppe but they can comfortably survive in a temperature range from 20 degrees F to 120 degrees F. The Arabian Camels mainly found in the Middle East and North America. While the Bactrian Camels found in the region of Central Asia.


A camel can sustain up to six months without any food and water and in the harsh condition; the hump is the most crucial part to let it survive. Practically camels hump does not contain water but the fat. In case of scarcity of food, a camel uses this fat for its survival. The stored fat used as the primary source of energy when there is no source of food and water. Usually, 9.3 grams of fat release 1.13 grams of water and help a camel to overcome severe conditions.


A camel likes to stay and move in herds and there can be a family herd and a herd of only male camels. The camels respond to each other by blowing other’s face. A camel is a strong animal, withstands up to 900 lbs, and walks through 40 miles in a day.

It features three sets of eyelids and two rows of eyelashes that protect them from the critical sandstorms. Furthermore, a camel can close its nostrils completely at the time of heavy storms and guard its body against harsh conditions.

Finally yet importantly, the thick pads on the chest and keens are solely responsible for them to sit and roam in hot sand. Nature has given everything to this species to endure severe conditions such as sandstorms and hot sands along with protect their possessor.

Cultural Significance

These creatures are the center of life for decades across the world may it is for Indians or Emiratis. It is the symbol of heritage, traditions, and cultural practices. Camels have social and traditional significance and play a vital role in transportation, entertainment, and more.

Is camel a domestic animal?

The answer to to above question is yes. Camel is considered as a domestic animal in desert areas because it is used for many purposes in those areas.

In the Middle East, uses of camel imply a primary cuisine and a delicious drink that features delicacy as well as medicinal significance. Their milk is used for making chocolates and biscuits. In other parts of the world, mostly camel milk is widely used as well as their coat to overcome harsh conditions.


On the other hand, they are primary mode of transportation in deserts and carries belongings as well as travelers in the blistering heat. Moreover, camel riding is also an ultimate experience for the vacationers and get hold of a glimpse of a desert.

Furthermore, the uses of camel are not limited to food or transportation. Their wool is also used as a piece of multi-purpose fabric for making clothes and rugs to sustain the sandstorm and hard-hitting temperature. They are also used for fun riding and as a medium of entertainment in many parts of the world. As a ship of the desert is truly significant for expressing the culture of a desert and sands by featuring in wars, security, racing, and dance.

Crucial Facts about Camel:

If you think an uneven hump is the only fun about a camel, here is something for you that can picture more interesting facts about camels.

  • A camel is an amazing creature because of its body structure, and other physical significance. In most of the deserted areas, it is a domestic and helping animal.
  • Camels hump is not meant for storing water but for storing fats.
  • Their average lifespan is between 40 and 50 years, reaches maturity at the age of 2 to 5 years, and starts breeding at an age of 7 to 8 years.
  • Usually, a camel is gentle but if they find the situation quite scary and feel something suspicious, it can bite or even spit on you.
  • A female goes through a gestation period of 12 to 14 months and then gives birth to a calf that can weigh 50 to 80 lbs.
  • Primarily, there are 14 million camels across the world and they live in the region of Asia, the Middle East, and Australia.
  • Their mouth split into two parts that assist the animal to eat food effectively among the animals in the desert.
  • It also features efficient nostrils that are capable of retaining water vapor for use in necessity.
  • They are considered exclusive among the animals in the desert and features thick furs that allow the animal to sustain hot sands and temperatures.
  • A baby camel does not have a hump like the grown-up one, with the passing of days and eating solids, the hump grows up to the extent.
  • Their stomach comprises three chambers just like a cow’s.
  • Once thirsty, a camel can drink up to 30 gallons of water within 13 minutes

When you listen to the word camel usually, an image of humps and a desolate desert come into your mind. Here we have revealed some crucial facts on this amazing creature, and hope this guide on camel information will fascinate your more to grasp more knowledge on the ship of the desert.


If you came here wondering to yourself, what is a camel… then I hope we’ve enlightened you. Camels are simply long-necked mammals somewhat similar to giraffes. Only camels have adapted to a different climate and habitat. They can go very long periods without water, and most camels are domesticated.