Bactrian camel in exhibit

Bactrian Camel

Scientific Name

Camelus bactrianus

Class

Mammalia

Order

Artiodactyla

Range

China and Mongolia

Habitat

Cold deserts

Estimated Wild Population

More than 950
Bactrian camel in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Not Listed IUCN Conservation Status: Not Listed

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Physical Description

Bactrian camels are imposing animals that can reach seven feet in height and weigh up to 1,500 pounds. Their thick brown coat changes with the seasons, and both males and females have two large humps on their back. These grazing mammals favor grasses, leaves, and shrubs, but they can also stomach thorns and dry vegetation that are indegestible to other herbivores. This enables them to survive in areas of sparse vegetation. In the wild, Bactrian camels form herds of up to 30 members led by a single breeding male. Males that are unable to find mates often gather in single-sex bachelor herds. Juveniles mature after about five years, with individuals living up to five decades.

Interesting Fact 1

Bactrian camels can endure their sandy environment thanks to their long eyelashes, hairy ears, and closeable nostrils.

Interesting Fact 2

Contrary to popular belief, their humps don't hold water. Instead, they store fat, which they use as an energy source when food is scarce.

Interesting Fact 3

They can go for extened periods of time without drinking water, but when they do drink, they can consume 30 gallons in one sitting.

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