Zoology A Closer Look: Camelus bactrianus (Bactrian Camel)

Discussion in 'Zoology' started by mscbkc070904, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Common Name: Camel - Bactrian
    Other Common Names: none listed
    Scientific Name: Camelus bactrianus (Full Taxonomy)
    Origin or Range: Mongolia
    Relative Size: Much Larger Than Average
    (as compared to other other exotics)
    Average Lifespan: 45 year(s)
    Compatibility: Average
    (as compared to other other exotics)
    Category: Mammals ยป Other Exotics

    Animal Description:
    Did you know that a Bactrian Camel has not one, but two humps? These camels, found throughout China, are extremely useful to their owners and are of great economic importance!

    Bactrian Camels are very strong when used for draft work or transportation. They can travel 25 to 35 kilometers while hauling a 330-pound weight in just one seven or eight-hour day! They are also drought resistant and can go for a little over a week under the hot sun without drinking, losing up to a quarter of their body weight in water! They can also go for more than one month, while working, without any food. This is because of their two fat-filled humps. A Bactrian Camel can tolerate a body temperature of up to 42 degrees Celsius! Although they do not usually eat meat, these camels can digest it and will if they are hungry. Usually in captivity, Bactrian Camels love carrots and hay. They eat leaves, grass and grains as well. Frequently used for domestic purposes, Bactrian Camels are intelligent and can be taught commands such as stand, or kneel (also called "kush"). They can also be taught to carry packs or saddles with cargo or humans! Bactrian Camels live about 45 years.

    Because they live in sandy desert environments, Bactrian Camels are very well adapted. They have long eyelashes to keep the sand out of their eyes and their feet are wide and flat, with two toes cushioned on top of a leathery pad. The nostrils of Bactrian Camels are long and slit-like to prevent sand from getting into their respiratory systems. They have short legs, which are very strong though thin, and in the winter, the Bactrian Camel grows a long, shaggy coat to keep it warm! In the summer, this coat is shed and the camel is left with little hair. Some Bactrian Camels have humps, which hang down to one side. While many people believe this is because the camel's fat reserves are depleted, it may simply mean that the connective tissue in the hump is weak. Bactrian Camels can go so long without water because their blood is specially adapted. When humans become dehydrated, their blood thickens, but camel blood can tolerate extreme dehydration and remain liquid. Their red blood cells are specially adapted for times when water is available, and will not burst even if the camel drinks over 100 liters of water! At maturity, a Bactrian Camel can stand up to two and a third meters tall and weigh as much as 1,000 kilograms!

    Native to China's Gobi Desert, the Bactrian Camel has long been valued as an economic resource. These camels are used for milk, meat, leather, wool and even bone! Rope and cloth are made from their wool, and even paintbrushes are made from Bactrian Camel fibers! They were domesticated in central Asia by 2500 B.C. and since have been working closely with humans as a method of transportation and as a source of draft power. Although their range was once larger, wild Bactrian Camels remain only in China.

    Specific Care Information:
    Relative Care Ease: Relatively Easy
    When used for wool, the Bactrian Camel yields an average of 11 pounds. Usually, the milk yield is about three pounds a day after a calf has suckled, and the carcass yield of a Bactrian Camel is about 30 percent.

    Breeding and Propagation:
    Relative Breeding Ease: Uncertain
    Bactrian Camels usually have their first calf around four years of age and can continue to reproduce until they are 30! The gestation period is usually between 370 and 445 days, and a calf will weigh between 80 and 130 pounds! Generally, Bactrian Camels nurse for about a year although they may be weaned earlier. They will be fully grown by five years of age.

  2. tablet

    tablet Premium Member

    Well done mscb, I'm glad you found your niche. :cheers:
  3. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    My niche? What niche? Please do explain, cause I contribute to the zoology forum? I could post 1-5 different ones a day, but then after awhile I would run out of ones and be left with domestic animals.
  4. Ikebana

    Ikebana Member

    MSC Niche is "A Place, A nook, A section"
  5. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Ok thanks, I guess I do somewhat have a nice for animals, wanted to be a vet or marine biologists long ago, still a dream that can happen.