Camels

CamelsScientists believe that members of the camel family lived in North America at least 40 million years ago.

From History.com “The world was a very different place 3.5 million years ago. A land bridge connected Alaska and Russia. Our ancestors, the australopithecines, were first appearing in Africa. And giant camels roamed the Arctic, looking a whole lot like their desert-based descendants do today.

That’s right—the shaggy animals that embody arid, sandy settings once thrived in decidedly chillier climes. According to a study published today in Nature Communications, researchers have evidence that camels lived all the way up in Canada’s northernmost territory, now home to polar bears, grey wolves and caribou. Far from feeling out of place, camels were ideally suited for the region’s harsh winters—and incredibly, the same features that helped them withstand the cold would later help their successors brave the desert.”

Click below for a slideshow of photographs of Camels

There are two types of true camels, the one-hump Arabian variety (the dromedary) and the two-hump Asian variety (the Bactrian). Camels can travel up to 161 km (100 miles) in the hot desert without water. But contrary to popular misconception, a camel’s hump is not filled with water. Instead, it is filled with fat (up to 36 kg, or 80 lbs) that is metabolized for energy and water when needed. As the fat is used up, the hump will become flabby, so if you see a camel with a flabby hump — or no hump at all — feed it, because it is probably very hungry.

Camels have been domestic animals for thousands of years. Having a camel means all of your needs will be met. You can eat the meat, make clothes with the hair, make shoes with the hide, drink the milk, and fuel a fire with the dung.

Photo credits:
  • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Camel_seitlich_trabend.jpg
  • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Camelus_dromedarius_in_Singapore_Zoo.JPG
  • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wahiba_Sands_(36).jpg
  • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_story_of_the_smiling_camel.jpg
  • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bactrian_camel_group_highland_wildlife_park_scotland.JPG
  • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Camel_and_the_pyramids.jpg
  • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BactrianCamel_(1).jpg
  • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:07._Camel_Profile,_near_Silverton,_NSW,_07.07.2007.jpg
  • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bactrians.jpg