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Animals of Africa, The Camel - St Aiden's Homeschool

Animals of Africa, The Camel - St Aiden's Homeschool



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Published by Donnette Davis
In the "African Animals Series". Camel Fun Activity & Fact eBook with notebooking pages.
In the "African Animals Series". Camel Fun Activity & Fact eBook with notebooking pages.

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Published by: Donnette Davis on Oct 04, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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www.staidenshomeschool.com 2007 (c)
(c) Donnette Davis 2007www.staidenshomeschool.com
- 2 -
Wild camels first originated
in North America, andthen, before the last Ice Age, they spread from there to EastAsia and then across to Afghanistan and Iran and Arabia(and also south to South America where they becamellamas and vicunas and alpacas). They became extinct inNorth America, maybe during the Ice Age.Camels were domesticated (tamed) long after cows andsheep, maybe about the same time as horses (about 3000BC). Like horses, they are not as tame and stupid as cowsand sheep are.By the time of the Islamic Empire, there were almost no wildcamels (and there still aren't), but people used tame camelsall across Africa and Asia, from China to North Africa.Camels can travel long distances across the desert withoutneeding water, so they were very useful in the Gobi Desert inAsia and in the Sahara Desert in Africa.But it took a long time to figure out a good pack saddle for camels, so they could carry heavy loads. Because of nothaving good pack saddles, the Persians, the Greeks, and theRomans used donkeys more than camels even in the desert.(For instance, when Jesus entered Jerusalem, he rode on adonkey). But around the beginning of the Islamic empire,maybe about 500 AD, somebody in West Asia invented agood pack saddle for camels. After that, people began touse camels as pack animals more and more.
(c) Donnette Davis 2007www.staidenshomeschool.com
- 3 -Bactrian Camel
Camelus bactrianus
 The Germans call dull-witted people
,perhaps reflecting theopinion of certain earlynaturalists such as theGerman naturalist, Brehm,who described the camelas "unbelievably stupidlooking."The most widely knownof the two species isprobably the one-humpedcamel, or dromedary, whichis today known only as adomestic animal.The two-humped camel still exists in a wild state in theGobi Desert where it is protected by law, and in nearbyareas of China. Wild camels exist in conditions where thetemperatures may vary from 50 degrees centigrade insummer to 25 degrees or more below freezing. Habitatloss continues to threaten the Bactrian camel; blockingaccess to only one watering hole in the species' rangewould adversely effect populations over a wide area.Although we have long been told that the camels humpscontain water, this is not the case. The humps contain fat whichcan be converted to water when necessary. The camel can gomany days and great distances without water. The camel haslarge eyes protected by two interlocking lashes, which are setunder an overhanging brow, all of which protects it from intensedesert heat. The camel can completely close its nostrils toblowing desert sand. Both one humped and two humped camelsare used. The Dromedary can could carry more than 500 poundsfor 40 miles.

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