Camel Pictures and Facts

At the beginning of the 18th century, nomadic Bedouins still made up a large percentage of the total Arab population. However, since then, their numbers have sharply declined, starting with the introduction of new Ottoman land laws in the mid 18th century that abolished the communal ownership of land, which is a basic ingredient of nomadic life. In modern times, contemporary governments with their need for taxation, conscription, and political control of their populations, have systematically restricted the movements and power of Bedouins since the early 1900s. And finally, the oil boom and rapid modernization with its economic implications have all accelerated their decline. In the 1960s, nomadic Bedouins represented 10 percent of the total Arab population. By the late twentieth century, they represented only an average of 1 percent. [5] For better or worse, their nomadic way of life will soon be a matter of historical interest rather than survival.

Camels Standing

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Although chicken is the most widely consumed domestic meat in Saudi Arabia today, camel meat could be the meat of the future especially in health-conscious Western countries. This is because camel meat has no cholesterol and hardly any fat, since the fat is concentrated in the camel's hump, which can weigh up to 80 lbs. (36 kg) and can be easily discarded.
[6] [7] If a camel's fat was distributed over it's body like a humans, it would insulate the body and make it harder to cool down. [8]

The genus Camelus is divided into two species, Camelus Bactrianus (Bactrian, two-hump camel), and Camelus Dromedarius (dromedary, one-hump camels).

The Camelidae family includes:

Genus Camelus:
Camelus dromedarius (dromedary, one-hump camel)
Camelus bactrianus (Bactrian camel, two-hump camel)
Genus Lama:
Lama glama (llama)
Lama guanicoe (guanaco)
Lama pacos (alpaca)
Genus Vicugna:
Vicugna vicugna (vicugna)

Walking Camels

A pair of walking camels.

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You can easily remember their names if you will imagine a capital letter "D" lying on its side on the back of a dromedary camel forming a single hump, or imagine the capital letter "B" on its side on the back of a Bactrian camel forming the double hump. About 90% of the camels in the world today are dromedaries.
[11] While the term dromedary is used throughout the world to describe the species in general, the word originally comes from the Greek "dromos" which means road, and is technically referring to the racing or riding dromedaries. True riding dromedaries can travel 80 to 120 mi. (128.75 to 193.12 km) per day carrying a rider. Their cousin dromedaries (called baggage camels) have a heavier build and are capable of carrying as much as 992 lbs. (450 kg), but usually only carries about 441 lbs. (200 kg) loads. A baggage camel can travel up to 40 mi. (64.37 km) per day, a caravan will usually average only about 12 mi. (19.3 km) per day, depending on how fresh the animals are at the start, and how long the trip is expected to be. They travel at about 2 mph (3.25 kmph) fully loaded, and 2 1/2 mph (4 kmph) unloaded. [12] [13] Camels prefer to walk, particularly when it's hot; but when speed is required, they either gallup or pace. The pace is a medium-speed movement which uses both legs on one side at a time, this produces a swaying or rocking motion and can make riders "seasick." This swaying motion is actually where the camel gets its moniker of "ship of the desert." [14]

sitting camel

Image Source for two camels: Neil Carey
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