Rolling Hills Zoo
Home  >  Zoo  >  Animals  >   C  >   Camel, Dromedary

Fast Facts:

  • Dromedary camels were domesticated by 1800 B.C. In fact, some experts believe they could have been domesticated by as early as 4000 B.C.

  • Camels were important in the development of the nomadic culture and trade routes in the Sahara Desert.

  • Today, the dromedary camel occurs only as a domesticated animal, except for a feral population of about 25,000 camels that were imported to Australia in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

  • An estimated 14 million camels are found throughout Africa, Europe and Asia.

Dromedary Camel

Scientific Name: Camelus dromedarius
Classification: Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia, Order Artiodactyla, Suborder Tylopoda, Family Camelidae
Status: The dromedary camel is a domesticated animal, so populations are stable.
Range: Before being domesticated Middle East
Habitat: Before being domesticated, the arid deserts
Diet: Vegetation
Size: Adults range from 6 to 7.5 feet and can weigh between 600 and 1200 pounds.
Life Span: Camels may live as long as 40 to 50 years
Print Fact Sheet Dromedary Camel

Special Features:

The dromedary camel has one hump. Contrary to some myths, they do not store water in their humps. Their humps do contain fat, which can be used for energy.

Camels have an extremely good sense of smell and keen vision.

Domestic camels may be used for transport, meat, milk, hides, and wool.

Camels have broad feet that are adapted to walking on soft sands. The walking surface has a soft pad made of an elastic layer of connective tissue. Camels move with a swinging stride - the front and hind legs on each side of the body move in unison. They can run at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.

Camels have several adaptations that protect them during sandstorms. They have slit-like nostrils that can be closed down tightly, and heavy eyebrows and eyelashes to protect their eyes. Camels also have a see-through third eyelid that can close over their eyes during sandstorms, but still allow them to see where they are going.

Breeding and Care of Young:

Females become sexually mature at 3 - 4 years of age, males at 5 - 6 years. Gestation lasts from 12 to 14 months, and, in the wild, the peak birth season is from March to April. Females usually give birth to one offspring, and the young will nurse until they are 1 - 1.5 years old.

Copyright 2007 ~ Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure ~ Contact Us