Among the sands of the hot desert dwells a beautiful majestic animal - a camel. Not for nothing is it called the ship of the desert. Since ancient times, people have noticed the ability of a camel to easily move through the sands, to resist storms, droughts and other harsh environmental conditions. The animal was so loved by man that it was domesticated and began to help in the household.
“God's gift” is the translation of the name of a single-humped camel from Arabic. The specific appearance of these animals delights visitors to zoos and circuses.
What are camels
Today, there are two types of animals: two-humped camel and one-humped camel. In addition, there are individuals living in the wild and domesticated. The scientific name of the double-humped camel is the Bactrian, and the single-humped one is the dromedary. Often there is another name for a single-camel camel - Djemmel, which means “Arabian camel”. By species belong to a special, allocated to them family - Camelid.
The appearance of a double-humped and one-humped camel
It is wrong to assume that a two-humped camel differs from a single-humped one only in the number of humps. There are a number of external differences. So, dromedary - more slender individuals. Owners of tall (2.5 meters) and long slender legs, they weigh only 350-700 kilograms. In addition, their wool has an ash-yellow tint.
Another thing is the double-haired camel, whose name is Bactrian. Their coat is thick, and the growth reaches 2.7 meters. Weigh animals with two humps up to 800 kilograms. The color differs - in Bactrians it is gray-yellow.
Nevertheless, single-humped and two-humped camels have a large number of similar features, due to which they were brought into a special detachment - the Corns. The point is in the special structure of the foot, which allows them to walk freely along the sands. While walking, the camel does not rest on the hoof, but on several phalanges of the fingers at once, forming a unique corn-ring. There are two such supporting fingers for camels. They are bifurcated and in appearance resemble the hoofs of artiodactyls.
Distinguishes camels and their neck, bending down.
Adaptation to harsh desert conditions
To feel great in a dry, hot desert, animals have a number of features. The main thing in the desert is to keep as much fluid as possible and to overcome overheating. Overheating is intended to fight the long hair of camels. One-humped camel has less hair. Most likely, this is due to the fact that in nature these animals do not occur. Another thing is the double-humped camel. His coat is long (winter) or medium (summer). But in any case, it is very dense and thick. This creates a wonderful barrier for a camel that does not allow hot or cold air to pass through.
The desert is very large difference day and night temperatures - for this camels provided another unique property: a wide range of body temperature. The animal can withstand temperatures from minus 35 to 40 degrees Celsius. If a normal mammal with a constant allowable body temperature includes the mechanisms of thermoregulation with a slight change, the camel includes these mechanisms (sweating) only at temperatures above 40 degrees. This not only creates comfort for the animal, but also allows you to retain precious moisture.
Do not waste waste water and help to keep it and the specific nostrils of the animal. They are slit-like and very tightly closed. In addition, a special septum in the nasal cavity accumulates steam, condenses and directs it into the oral cavity. Thus, not a drop of water is lost.
A special device of the nostrils performs another important function - they help the camel to breathe during the sandstorm. And big eyelashes protect eyes from sand grains getting there.
Retain moisture and help the kidneys and intestines. The first produce very concentrated urine, and the second - dehydrated manure.
How do camels accumulate moisture? Animals can phenomenally quickly absorb water: in 10 minutes to 150 liters. Life-giving moisture accumulates in the stomach. In the heat, camels may not be thirsty for up to 5 days, and a single-humped camel - up to 10, if it does not perform heavy physical work. This unique feature provides animals with a special structure of red blood cells - they have an oval shape, respectively, they retain moisture longer.
For what hump camel?
A distinctive feature by which even children can easily recognize a camel is his hump. It is a mistake to believe that there is a supply of water in it. Not. Fat tissue is concentrated in the hump - it contains nutrients that the animal consumes, if necessary, as food or drink. After all, it is known that water is a by-product in the breakdown of fat.
Interestingly, the well-being of an animal is judged by its humps. If they stick up - the camel is in excellent physical shape. Otherwise, the humps sag or disappear completely.
Habitat of two-humped and single-humped camels
Previously, a wild double-haired camel lived throughout Asia, at present it can only be found in the Gobi Desert. The domesticated Bactrian is still found in many Asian countries, such as China, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Mongolia, Kalmykia, Kazakhstan. Since the XIX century, the double-humped camel has been used even in Siberia. Accustomed to the harsh climatic conditions, it is ideal for the transport of goods. The two-humped camel in the desert is less and less common. There is their active domestication.
The Arabian Peninsula and North Africa are the habitat of one-humped camels. Dromedaries are rare in the wild. They do not have such a layer of wool as Bactrians, so they prefer a warm climate. They can be found in Pakistan or India, one-humped camels reach Turkmenistan. The dromedaries and Australia liked it - they were brought there about a thousand years ago.
The area where the two-humped camel (as well as one-humped) lives is desert or semi-desert with low vegetation. They lead predominantly sedentary, although they can roam for impressive distances, because the territory of their sections is very extensive. “A lot of wandering” - this is how “camel” is translated from the Old Slavonic language.
During the day, in the sweltering heat, the animals rest, lie down. In the evening and in the morning they prefer to eat. The habitual speed of a camel is 10 km / h. If the animal is scared, it can reach speeds of up to 30 km / h. It is worth noting that the danger of a camel can be seen at kilometers distance.
They live in families. The number reaches 10 individuals. At the head of the male family, several females and calves obey him. There are males leading a lonely lifestyle. Camels are calm and deadpan animals. They do not spend energy on games and conflicts.
It is worth noting that camels are excellent swimmers.
The life span of an animal is 40-50 years. The marriage period falls in autumn and winter. Moreover, the males at this time are very aggressive: they can attack domestic camels, lead or kill females. Cub born on average after a year with a little. Almost immediately the camel gets up on its feet.
Up to one and a half years, the mother-mother feeds him with her nutritious, rich milk. There is a camel with mother before puberty (3-5 years).
Adult camels have almost no enemies, but camels are attacked by wolves.
Animals are known for their ability to spit in case of danger. It is worth noting that the double-haired camel spits most often into another individual. Man rarely gets it. Only when, in the animal’s opinion, danger emanates from it. When a camel defends itself, it kicks, bites, can stomp with its front legs.
Bitter, tough, low vegetation is what feeds on a single-humped and two-humped camel. The name of the shrub speaks for itself: "camel thorn." Animals are completely unpretentious in the choice of food. Moving forked lips allow the camel to chew as little as possible, therefore thorny plants are not a hindrance for it.
Camels do not pass by any body of water: they drink heavily and with great pleasure.
Wild and domestic camels
Unfortunately, camels are found less and less in the wild. One-humped animals are not found in the natural environment in general, and the number of two-humped animals is only 1000 individuals that live in special reserves. We said what is the name of the double-haired camel listed in the Red Book - this is Bactrian.
Having no enemies among the desert inhabitants, the camel is in danger because of human activity. On the one hand, animals are caught for domestication and domestication, and on the other hand, their habitats are destroyed.
Domestic camels are wayward, proud animals that have a sense of self-worth. They do not tolerate cruelty and neglect. A camel will never stand on its feet at the request of its owner, unless it decides for itself that it has rested well. The camel will not be allowed to milk the stranger. This should be done by a certain person and only in the presence of a camel. Despite the difficult interaction with humans, camels are very loyal animals, they are attached to a good host, capable of learning and training.
The man began the domestication of camels for a long time, almost 5 thousand years ago. In addition to physical assistance in the transport of goods, animals - this is valuable milk, high-quality leather, warm fur. Even the camel bone is used to make bedouin ornaments and household items. Not for nothing animals are held in high esteem by those who breed them.
Many residents of tourist-oriented countries use camels to entertain visitors.
Without the participation of these enduring animals, trade in antiquity would not take place, and as a result, powerful civilizations would not flourish. People would not be introduced to oriental spices or Chinese silk. Camels used in the conduct of wars. By the way, there is still a camel regiment in India.
Camel also played its role in the development of North America. It was through these animals that cargo was transported. With the invention of the railway, camels, as unnecessary, were evicted into the natural environment of deserts, where they were destroyed by local farmers. Therefore, in America there are no animals left.
Camel - description, description, structure.
A camel is an animal that is quite large in size: the average height at the withers of an adult is about 210-230 cm, and the weight of a camel reaches 300-700 kg. Particularly large individuals weigh more than a ton. The body length is 250-360 cm in two-humped camels, 230-340 cm in one-humped ones. Males are always larger than females.
The anatomy and physiology of these mammals are a clear indicator of their adaptability to life in harsh and dry conditions. The camel has a strong, dense constitution, a long U-shaped neck and a rather narrow, elongated skull. The ears of the animal are small and round, sometimes almost completely buried in thick fur.
The big eyes of a camel are reliably protected from sand, sun and wind by thick, long eyelashes. The flashing membrane, the third eyelid, protects the animal's eyes from sand and wind. The nostrils are shaped like narrow slits, which are able to close tightly, preventing the loss of moisture and protecting during sandstorms.
Taken from the site: ephemeralimpressions.blogspot.ru
In the mouth of a camel grow 34 teeth. The lips of animals are hardened and fleshy, adapted for tearing off barbed and tough vegetation. Upper lip forked.
Photo by Klaus Rassinger, Gerhard Cammerer
On the chest, wrists, elbows and knees of domestic animals there are large calluses, which allow the mammal to descend painlessly and lie on hot earth. In wild specimens, corns on the elbows and knees do not. Each leg of a camel ends in a forked foot with a kind of claw located on a callosal cushion. Two-footed feet are an ideal device for movement on stony and sandy landscapes.
Photo by: 3268zauber
The tail of the camel relative to the body is rather short and is about 50-58 cm. At the end of the tail there is a brush, formed by a bunch of long hair.
Photo by: Ltshears
Camels have a thick and dense coat that prevents evaporation of moisture in the heat and warming on cold nights. The camel's hair is slightly curly, and its color can be very diverse: from light to dark brown and almost black. On the nape of the animals are paired glands, emitting a special odorous secret, with which camels mark their territory, bending their necks and wiping themselves with stones and soil.
Photo by: Kuribo
Contrary to popular belief, the camel’s hump does not contain water, but fat. For example, in the hump of a double-humped camel there is up to 150 kg of fat. The hump protects the back of animals from overheating and is a reservoir for energy reserves. There are 2 closely related species of camels: single-humped and two-humped, having, respectively, 1 or 2 humps laid down by evolutionary development, as well as some differences related to habitat conditions.
Liquid camels retain in the scar tissue of the stomach, therefore, tolerate prolonged dehydration. The structure of the blood cells of camels is such that with prolonged dehydration, when another mammal would have died long ago, their blood does not thicken. Camels can live without water for a couple of weeks, and live without food for about a month. The erythrocytes of these animals are not round, but oval, which is a rare exception among mammals. Not having access to water for a long time, a camel can lose up to 40% of its weight. If an animal loses weight in a week for 100 kg, then getting water will quench thirst for 10 minutes. In total, the camel will drink more than 100 liters of water at a time and replenish the lost 100 kg of weight, recovering literally before our eyes.
Photo by: Trachemys
All camels have excellent vision: they are able to see a person per kilometer, and a moving car for 3-5 km. Animals have a well-developed flair: they feel the source of water at a distance of 40-60 km, they easily anticipate the approach of a thunderstorm and go to where the showers pass.
Despite the fact that the bulk of these mammals have never seen large bodies of water, camels can swim well, tilting the body slightly to the side. A camel runs in amble, while the speed of a camel can reach 23.5 km / h. Some wild haptagues can accelerate to 65 km / h.
The voice of a camel is like the roar of an ass. Especially often animals give a voice when they get up with a load.
What does a camel eat?
Camels are able to digest very rough and non-nutritious food. Bactrian camels eat various shrub and semi-shrub vegetation in the desert: saltworts, camel prickles, a hedgehog, a hot pickle, sand acacia, wormwood, onions, ephedra, young branches of saxaul. With the onset of cold weather in rare oases, animals eat reeds and eat leaves of poplars. In the absence of the main food sources, Bactrians do not hesitate to hide and bones of dead animals, as well as any products made from these materials. A single-humped camel feeds on any vegetable feed, including coarse, hard and salty food.
Using a juicy grass, a camel can live without water for up to 10 days, getting the necessary moisture from the vegetation. Springs animals visit the desert every few days, while at the same time the camel drinks a lot. For example, a double-humped camel can drink 130-135 liters of water at a time. A notable feature of haptags (wild two-humped camels) is their ability to drink brackish water without damage to the body, while domestic camels do not drink it.
All camels endure long hunger, and it has been scientifically proven that overfeeding affects the health of these animals much worse. By the fall, camels grow fat much in their abundant years, but in the winter they suffer much more than other animals: due to the lack of real hooves, they are not able to dig snowdrifts in search of suitable food.
Domestic camels are extremely illegible in food and are almost omnivorous. In captivity or in a zoo, animals are happy to eat fresh grass and silage, any animal feed, vegetables, fruits, grain, branches and foliage of trees and shrubs. Also in the diet of domestic camels must be present salt bars, satisfying the body's need for salt.
A three-chambered stomach helps the animal digest food. The mammal swallows the feed without first chewing, then belches the partially digested food, chewing gum, and chews it.
Camel hybrids, photos and titles.
Since ancient times, the population of such countries as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan practiced interspecific hybridization of camels, that is, crossed single-humped and two-humped camels. Гибриды имеют большое значение в народном хозяйстве этих стран. Ниже приведено описание гибридов:
Нар – гибрид верблюдов первого поколения, скрещенный казахским методом. При скрещивании самок казахского двугорбого верблюда с самцами туркменских одногорбых верблюдов породы Арвана получается жизнеспособная помесь. Hybrid females are called nar-may (or nar-maya), males have the name nar. In appearance, the bunks look like dromedara and have one elongated hump, which consists of 2 merged humps. The offspring always exceeds the parents in size: the height at the shoulders of an adult nara is from 1.8 to 2.3 m, and the weight can exceed 1 ton. The annual milk yield of a female's milk with a fat content of up to 5.14% can exceed 2000 liters, moreover, the average milk yield for dromedars is 1300-1400 liters per year, and for Bactrians no more than 800 liters per year. Nars, in turn, are capable of producing offspring, which is rare among hybrid specimens, but their young are usually weak and painful.
Iner (Iner) - it is also a hybrid of first-generation camels, obtained by the Turkmen method, namely: when crossing the female of the Turkmen single-humped camel of the Arvan breed with the male of the double-humped camel. The hybrid female has the name Iner-May (or Iner-Maya), the male is called Iner. Iner, as well as a bunker, has 1 elongated hump, is distinguished by high rates of milk yield and nastrigov wool, and also has a powerful physique.
Jarby, or jarbay - A rare second-generation hybrid, which is obtained by crossing first-generation camel hybrids. Experienced camel breeders try to avoid such reproduction, since the offspring is obtained low productive, painful, often with obvious deformities and signs of degeneration in the form of severely deformed joints of the limbs, curved chest and so on.
Cospack - a hybrid of a camel, obtained by crossing the absorptive type of females of nar-may with the male camel-Bactrian. Quite a promising hybrid in terms of increase in meat mass and high dairy performance. It is also recommended for breeding for further crossing in order to increase the small population of another hybrid camel, kez-nar.
Kez-nar - a group of hybrid camels, which are the result of cross-breeding of female cospac with male dromedary of the Turkmen breed. As a result, there are individuals that exceed the weight of the cospacks, and in height at the withers, dairy performance and hair trim ahead of the nar.
Kurt - A group of hybrid camels, obtained by crossing iner-May with males of the Turkmen Dromedar. Kurt is a single-humped hybrid, the animal's forearms are slightly pubescent. Milk productivity is quite high, although milk fat is low, and Kurt is not a record holder in terms of the amount of hair cut.
Kurt-nar - hybrid camels bred by crossing female Kurt hybrid and Kazakh Bactrian male Bactrians.
Kama - a hybrid of one humped camel and llama. The resulting hybrid has no hump, animal fur is fluffy, very soft, up to 6 cm long. The limbs are long, very strong, with double hoofs, therefore the hybrid can be used as a hardy pack animal capable of carrying a weight of up to 30 kg. Kama has rather small ears and a long tail. Height at withers varies from 125 to 140 cm, and weight from 50 to 70 kg.
Where does a camel live?
Camels live exclusively in natural areas such as dry steppes, semi-deserts and deserts. Humid climate areas for animals are disastrous.
Previously, camels inhabited most of Central Asia, the Gobi and Takla Makan deserts, were widely distributed in Mongolia and China. In the east, the habitat of these animals reached a large bend of the Yellow River, and in the west it bordered on the countries of Central Asia and Kazakhstan. Over time, the area of the area was greatly reduced. These days, wild double-humped camels live in 4 isolated sites in countries such as Mongolia and China. On Mongolian territory, two-humped camels live in the southeast, in the Trans-Altai Gobi, up to the very border with China. The Chinese camel population is concentrated in the west of the country, in the region of the dried-up saline lake Lobnor. A wild two-humped camel is included in the IUCN Red List as a species on the verge of extinction.
Photo by: Oona Räisänen & IUCN
Domestic single-humped camels are widespread in northern Africa, in the territories of Central and Asia Minor, and in the countries of the Middle East all the way to India. Single-humped camels were also brought to the Balkans, to the south-western part of Africa, to the Canaries and to Australia.
Lifestyle of wild camels.
Haptagai, wild camels, live in small groups of 5 to 9 individuals. The herd consists of camels with cubs, headed by a dominant male. Sometimes young mature males live in the herd, who leave the herd during the breeding season.
Haptagai never linger in one place, but constantly migrate, but do not go beyond their usual biotopes, sandy and rocky areas, where there are always springs or other sources of water. After heavy rains, giant clusters of camels can be observed at a watering place in river floods. To quench their thirst in winter, camels are content with snow. With the onset of winter, camels go to the southern border of the range and remain in the foothills or oases with poplars protected from the wind.
Haptagias are active during the day, and at night they sleep or chew gum. The animals wait out the storm, lying motionless on the rocks, take cover in ravines in bad weather, and in the heat they stroll around, fanning themselves with their tails, and against the wind and opening their mouth, thus reducing body temperature.
Compared with their domestic counterparts, wild camels are more aggressive and quarrelsome, but at the same time prudent and even cowardly. According to the testimony of researchers, they are afraid of even domestic camels, and when they see a person or a car, they stop to graze, stretch their necks and tensely look in the direction of danger. True, during the rut, they can attack herds of domestic camels, kill males and steal females.
Photo by: Doron
Reproduction of camels.
The mating season of one-humped camels falls on the winter months and the accompanying period of rains. Two-humped camels are also going on in winter, but a little later than in single-humped ones. Sexual maturity occurs at the age of 3 years in females and not earlier than 5 years in males.
During the breeding season, male camels become especially aggressive and dangerous, torn, roar, whistle and mumble, rush to male relatives in an attempt to mate. Many males from the mouth is foam. The masculine males start bloody fights among themselves: the opponents kick each other, bite the back of their heads, try to bend down to the ground and bring down. Especially brutal fights of males end with the death of a weaker rival.
Before mating, individuals of both sexes pour urine on their legs and spread it over the body with the tail, the males actively mark the territory with the secret of the occipital glands. A camel female, ready for mating, kneels and lies before the chosen one, who immediately after mating runs off to search for the next female.
In a single-humped camel, pregnancy lasts 13 months, in a double-humped one - 14 months. Births occur while standing, and usually only one cub is born, twins usually end in miscarriage. The weight of a new-born two-humped camel is 36-45 kg, and the height at the withers is about 90 cm. Strange camels, oddly enough, weigh almost 100 kg at birth. The newly born camel calves of two hours old are already able to follow their mother.
Photo by: Jiel Beaumadier
Lactation lasts about 1.5 years, but pure milk feeding lasts approximately 6 months. During the day, the female of the double-humped camel gives 4-5 liters of milk, the female of the single-humped camel - up to 8-10 liters of milk. In these animals, care for the offspring is strongly pronounced, and the camel cub remains under the supervision of the mother until it reaches puberty. Then the males leave and join the bachelor groups, while the females stay with the mother.
According to experts, double-humped camels were the first to evolve, and this fact proves the intrauterine development: the embryos of all camels are first-humps, and in late periods one hump at the dromedar cub disappears.
Photo by: Garrondo
For the first time man tamed camels for 2-4 thousand years BC. e., and since then they are considered the most hardy and indispensable workers in their usual biotopes. Individuals of both sexes between the ages of 4 and 25 years can carry baggage, which is up to half of their weight, covering a distance of up to 80-90 km per day.
Domesticated forms of camels are widely distributed in large parts of the territories of Asia and Africa, as well as in Australia, where they were introduced and perfectly adapted to the local climate.
From time to time, camels have been used as a force for breeding for meat, milk, leather, wool and manure. Camel meat is eaten, it is quite suitable for consumption and tastes a bit sweet because of the presence of glycogen in it. From camel meat cooked beshbarmak, and the fat from the humps is consumed warm immediately after slaughter, then it goes for distillation.
Camel leather is thick and durable, so it is used for the manufacture of belts, whips and bootleg shoes.
The unique camel hair is thin and unusually warm, therefore it is used to make clothes for polar explorers, cosmonauts and divers. Camels are trimmed after spring shedding, the undercoat is combed out, and to preserve the unique qualities, the camel's hair is never dyed. Due to the fact that only 6–10 kg of wool can be obtained from one Bactrian, and even less (about 2–4 kg) from the dromedar, the hair of these domestic animals is the most expensive.
The camel's manure is so dry that it is perfect for residential heating: its flame is even, smokeless and has high heat transfer rates.
Camel milk is very appreciated by the peoples of Asian countries. Its fat content is about 5-6%. Camel milk is sweetish in taste, quite nutritious and contains a large amount of vitamins and minerals. From one camel per year, you can get from 300 to more than 1000 liters of milk (depending on the breed).
Camels have curly fur, a long and arched neck, and small, rounded ears. The representatives of the camelid family and the subgroup of the Mozooleen family are characterized by the presence of 38 teeth, of which ten are represented by the indigenous incisors, two canines, ten molars, two indigenous incisors, a pair of canines, and twelve molars.
Thanks to the long and shaggy eyelashes, the camel's large eyes are reliably protected from sand and dust, and the nostrils-slits, if necessary, are able to hide very tightly. The camel's vision is excellent, so the animal is able to see a moving person at a distance of a kilometer, and the car is even five kilometers away. A large desert animal perfectly smells the smell of water and plants.
It is interesting! A camel can smell fresh pasture or fresh water even over fifty kilometers, and when it sees thunder clouds in the sky, the desert animal sets off toward them, hoping to get into a place with raining rain.
The mammal is quite well adapted to life in harsh and anhydrous areas, and also has special thoracic, carpal, elbow, and knee calluses, which often come into contact with the soil heated to 70 ° C. A rather thick fur of an animal is meant for its protection from the scorching day sun and night cold. Interconnected fingers form a common sole. Wide and two-footed camel feet are well adapted for movement on small stones and loose sand.
A camel is unable to lose a significant amount of fluid along with natural feces. Moisture, which in the process of breathing is released from the nostrils, is easily collected inside a special fold, after which it enters the mouth cavity of the animal. Camels for a long time can do without water, but it loses about 40% of the total body weight.
One of the specific special adaptations of camels for life in desert conditions is the presence of humps, which are large fat deposits and serve as a kind of "roof" that protects the back of the animal from the rays of the scorching sun. Among other things, a high concentration of such fat reserves of the whole body in the back area contributes to a good thermal return. Camels are excellent swimmers, and when moving in water, such animals tend to tilt their body slightly to one side.
Character and way of life
In the wild nature, a camel tends to settle, however, such an animal constantly moves through different desert areas, as well as stony plains or large foothills, trying to stay within large, already marked areas. Any haptagai prefer to move between rare water sources, which allows them to replenish their vital water reserves.
As a rule, camels are kept in small herds, including from five to twenty individuals. The leader of such a herd is the main male. Such desert animals show activity mainly in the daytime, and with the onset of dark time, camels sleep or behave rather sluggishly and somewhat apathetic. During hurricane periods, camels can lie for days, and on hot days they move against the flow of wind, which contributes to effective thermoregulation, or hiding in bushes and ravines. Wild animals are shy and somewhat aggressive towards outsiders, including humans.
It is interesting! The practice is well known, according to which the winter grazing of horses is carried out, they are easily beating the snow cover with their hooves, after which camels are picked up at such a site, picking up the remains of food.
When there are signs of danger, the camels run away, easily reaching a speed of up to 50-60 km / h. Adult animals are able to run for two or three days, until the exhaustion of their strength. Experts believe that natural endurance and large size often can not save a desert animal from death, due to a small mental development.
The way of life of domesticated individuals is completely subordinate to people, and feral animals quickly become accustomed to lead a way of life characteristic of their ancestors. Adult and fully mature males are able to live alone. The onset of the winter period is an ordeal for camels who find it very difficult to move on snow cover. Among other things, the lack of true hoofs in such animals makes it impossible to dig up food from under the snow.
How many camels live
In favorable conditions, camels may well live for about four decades, but such a solid life expectancy is still more characteristic of fully domesticated specimens. Among the wild haptagai quite often quite large individuals, whose age is fifty years.
Types of camels
Camel race is represented by two types:
Single-humped camels (dromedars, dromedaries, Arabians) - Camelus dromedarius, have survived to this day exclusively in domesticated form, and may well be represented as secondarily wild individuals. In Greek, the dromedary is “running,” and the “Arabians” are named after the inhabitants of Arabia who tamed them.
Dromedary, along with the Bactrians, have very long and callous legs, but with a more slender build.. Compared with a double-humped one-humped camel is much smaller, therefore the length of the body of an adult individual is no more than 2.3-3.4 m, with a height at withers within 1.8-2.1 m. The average weight of an adult single-humped camel varies at 300-700 kg.
Dromedary have a head with elongated facial bones, bulging forehead, hook-nosed profile. The lips of an animal, compared with horses or cattle, are not compressed at all. The cheeks are enlarged, and the lower lip is most often sagging. The neck of one-humped camels is distinguished by well-developed muscles.
It is interesting! Along the entire upper edge of the cervical region, there is an insignificant size of the mane, and on the lower part there is a short beard that reaches the middle of the neck. On the forearms, the edge is completely absent. In the area of the shoulder blades there is an edge that has the appearance of "epaulettes" and is represented by long curled hair.
Also, single-humped camels differ from two-humped brethren in that even minor frosts are extremely difficult to tolerate. Nevertheless, the coat of the dromedaries is rather dense, but not too thick and relatively short. The fur of a single-humped camel is not intended for warming and only contributes to the prevention of excessive fluid loss.
In cold nights, the body temperature of one-humped camels drops significantly, and in the sun the animal warms up very slowly. The longest hair is covered with the neck, back and head of a single-humped camel. Dromedaries have a predominantly sandy color, but there are representatives of the species with dark brown, reddish-gray or white fur.
Bactrian camels, or Bactrians (Camelus bactrianus) - the largest representatives of the genus, which are the most valuable domestic animals for a large number of Asian peoples. Bactrian camels Bactrians owe their name to Bactria. Эта местность на территории Центральной Азии прославилась одомашниванием двугорбого верблюда. Также в настоящее время существует незначительное количество представителей диких двугорбых верблюдов, именуемых хаптагаи. Несколько сотен таких особей сегодня живут на территории Китая и Монголии, где они отдают предпочтение наиболее труднодоступным природным ландшафтам.
Bactrian camels are very large, massive and heavy animals. The average body length of an adult individual of this species reaches 2.5-3.5 m, with a height in the range of 1.8-2.2 meters. The height of the animal, along with humps, may well reach 2.6-2.7 m. The length of the tail often varies between 50-58 cm. As a rule, the weight of a mature double-humped camel ranges from 440-450 to 650-700 kg. A well-fed male camel that is very valuable and popular Kalmyk breed can weigh from 780–800 kg to a ton, and the female’s weight most often ranges from 650–800 kg.
Two-humped camels have a dense body, as well as rather long limbs. Bactrians are notable for their particularly long and curved neck, which initially has a downward deflection, and then rises again. Due to this feature of the structure of the neck, the head of the animal is characteristically located in line with the shoulder area. Humps in all representatives of this species are located from each other with a distance of 20-40 cm. The space between them is called a saddle, and is often used as a place for landing a person.
The standard distance from the intermountain saddle and to the surface of the earth, as a rule, is about 170 cm. In order for a person to climb the back of a two-humped camel, the animal kneels or lies down on the ground. It should be noted that the space that is located between the two humps of a camel is not filled with fatty deposits even in the most mature and well-fed individuals.
It is interesting! Bactrian camels with a light coat color are the rarest specimens, the number of which is not more than 2.8 percent of the total population.
The main indicators of fatness and health of a double-humped camel are represented by resilient, standing humps. Skinny animals have humps that are partially or completely collapse sideways, so they dangle heavily in the process of walking. Adult double-humped camels have an extremely thick and dense coat with a very well-developed undercoat, ideal for the existence of an animal in fairly severe continental climatic conditions, characterized by hot summer and cold, snowy winters.
Noteworthy is the fact that in winter habitats familiar to animals, the thermometer often drops even below minus 40 degrees, but a double-humped camel is able to withstand such severe frosts without serious consequences due to the special structure of the fur. Hair coat coat has internal cavities, which greatly reduce the thermal conductivity of fur. Thin hairs undercoat well trapped air.
The average length of the Bactrians' hair is 50-70 mm, and on the lower part of the cervical region and the tops of the humps are hair, the length of which often exceeds a quarter of a meter. The longest coat grows in the representatives of the species in the autumn, so in winter such animals look quite pubescent. In the spring, two-humped camels start to moult, and the coat is shredded. At this time, the animal has an untidy, sloppy and shabby appearance.
Common for a double-humped camel is a brown-sand color with varying degrees of intensity. Some individuals have a very dark or completely light, sometimes even reddish color.
Camels of both species are fairly widespread only in desert zones, as well as in the dry steppes. Such large animals are absolutely not adapted to too humid climatic conditions or living in highlands. Domesticated camel species are currently distributed in many areas of Asia and Africa.
Dromedaries are often found in northern Africa, down to one degree south of latitude, as well as on the territory of the Arabian Peninsula and in the central part of Asia. In the nineteenth century, such animals were introduced into Australia, where they were able to quickly adapt to unusual climatic conditions. To date, the total number of such animals in Australia is fifty thousand individuals.
It is interesting! Bactrians are rather widespread in regions that run from Asia Minor to Manchuria. Currently there are about nineteen million camels in the world, and about fourteen million individuals live in Africa.
There are about seven million individuals in Somalia today, and just over three million camels in Sudan. Dromedary wild form died out, as expected, at the beginning of our era. Their most probable original homeland was represented by the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, but at present it was not possible to fully establish whether its ancestors were dromedaries of the wild form or were ancestors in common with the Bactrian. N.M.
Przhevalsky in the Asian expedition for the first time discovered the existence of two-humped wild camels haptagaev. Their existence at that time was supposed, but was not confirmed, therefore it was disputed.
Populations of wild Bactrians today exist only on the territory of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and in Mongolia. The presence of only three separated populations is noted there, and the total number of animals in them at present is about one thousand individuals. Nowadays, issues related to the acclimatization of two-humped wild camels in the conditions of the Yakutsk Pleistocene park zone are being actively considered.
Camels are typical representatives of ruminants. Both species are used in the food solyanka and wormwood, as well as camel thorn and saxaul. Camels are able to drink even salty water, and all the fluid in the body of such animals is stored inside the rumen cell of the stomach. All representatives of the suborder of the Mozenelegs very well and rather easily tolerate dehydration. The main source of water for a camel is fat. The oxidation process of one hundred grams of fat allows you to get about 107 grams of water and carbon dioxide.
It is interesting! Wild camels are very cautious and suspicious animals, so they prefer to die from lack of water or feed, but never get too close to people.
Even in conditions of prolonged lack of water, the blood of camels does not thicken at all. Such animals, belonging to the subgroup of the Molepered, can survive for about two weeks without water and about one month without food. Even with such simply amazing stamina, at present, wild camels are more likely than other animals to suffer from a noticeable reduction in the number of watering places. This situation is due to the active development of desert areas by people with the presence of fresh natural water bodies.
Reproduction and offspring
The reproductive age of camels starts at about three years. The pregnancy of one-humped camel lasts thirteen months, and that of two-humped camels lasts one month longer. The reproduction of one- and two-humped camels occurs according to the pattern typical of most cloven-hoofed animals.
The rut period is dangerous enough not only for the camel itself, but also for the people. Mature males at this time become extremely aggressive, and in the process of fighting for the female, they are completely without thought able to attack the opponent and the man. Violent battles between males very often end in serious injuries and even death of the losing side. During such battles, large animals use not only powerful hooves, but also teeth.
Mating of camels occurs in winter, when the rainy season begins in desert areas, providing animals with enough water and food. However, the rut of the dromedaries begins a little earlier, compared to the Bactrians. The female, as a rule, gives birth to one well-developed young, but sometimes camel pairs are born. After a few hours, the camel completely stands up and is also able to run after its mother.
It is interesting! The fight for sexually mature camels consists in the desire of the male to knock his opponent off his feet in order to trample down the opponent in the future.
Camels are noticeably different in size and weight.. For example, a newborn baby of a double-humped camel can weigh only 35-46 kg, with a height of 90 cm. And small dromedaries, with a practically similar height, have a weight of 90-100 kg. Regardless of the species, females feed their offspring up to six months or one and a half years. Animals take care of their cubs until they fully mature.
Currently, the ranges of tigers and camels do not overlap, but in the past, numerous tigers often attacked not only wild animals, but also domesticated animals. Tigers shared one area with wild camels near Lob Nor Lake, but disappeared from these territories after irrigation. Large sizes did not save Bactrians, therefore, cases are well known when a tiger nibbled camels stuck in the bog of a salt marsh. The frequent tiger attacks on camels kept in domestic conditions were the main cause of predation by humans in many camel breeding areas.
It is interesting! The most common diseases of camels include trypanosomiasis and influenza, camel plague and echinococcosis, as well as pruritic scabies.
Another dangerous enemy of a camel is the wolf, which annually reduces the population of wild artiodactyls. For domesticated camels, the wolf also poses a significant threat, and a large representative of the suborder of the Mozoolerae suffers from such a predator due to natural fearfulness. When attacking wolves, camels do not even try to defend themselves, they only scream loudly and rather actively spit the accumulated contents in the stomach. Even the crows are quite capable of pecking wounds on the body of an animal - camels, and in this case, show their absolute defenselessness.
Population and species status
In contrast to single-humped camels, which disappeared from the wild even in prehistoric time and are now found in natural conditions only as second-time feral animals, the two-humped remained in the wild.
It is interesting! Wild camels are listed in the International Red Book, where such animals are assigned the category CR - a species that is in critical danger.
Nevertheless, wild double-humped camels at the beginning of the last century have become extremely rare, so today they are on the verge of extinction. According to some data, wild camels are in eighth place among all endangered mammals by the degree of threat.
Camels and man
Camels have long been domesticated by man and are very actively used in economic activities:
- «Nar"- large-sized animal, weighing up to a ton. This hybrid was obtained by crossing a single-horned arvan with a double-humped Kazakh camel. A distinctive feature of such individuals is represented by the presence of one large, as if consisting of a pair of parts, a hump. Barns are divorced by man primarily due to decent dairy qualities. The average milk yield of one individual annually is about two thousand liters,
- «Kama"- A popular hybrid, obtained by crossing a dromedary camel with a llama. Such an animal is distinguished by a small height in the range of 125-140 cm and a small weight, rarely exceeding 65-70 kg. There is no standard hump of the cams, but such an animal has a very good carrying capacity, thanks to which it is actively used as a pack in the most hard-to-reach places,
- «Inery", or "Ineri"- single-humped giants possessing magnificent coat. This hybrid was obtained by crossing a camel of a Turkmen breed with a male Arvan,
- «Jarbay"- a practically non-viable and rather rare hybrid, which is born as a result of mating a pair of hybrid camels,
- «Kurt"- one-humped and not very popular hybrid, obtained by mating a female Iner with a camel-male Turkmen breed. The animal has a very decent yield, but the milk produced is too low in fat,
- «Kaspak"- a very popular hybrid form, obtained by mating a Bactrian male with a Nara female. Such animals are raised primarily for high yields and an impressive mass of meat,
- «Kez-nar"- one of the most common hybrid forms obtained by crossing a caspak with a camel of Turkmen breed. One of the largest in size and performance of the animal.
Camel milk and fat, and also meat of young individuals are actively used by the person. Nevertheless, quality camel wool, which is used in the manufacture of incredibly warm clothes, blankets, shoes and other things necessary for people, is most valued today.