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Bactrian Camel

Welcome to everything about the Bactrian Camel. Enjoy reading and exploring this exciting Animal!

Bactrian Camel

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Bactrian camel

The Bactrian Camel belongs to the family of Camelidae, and this family also includes three other types of camels, Alpacas, Llamas, and their respective ancestors. Their domestication occurred in 4,500 BCE and they almost exclusively existed as a domesticated species. Although closely related, they are distinctly different from Wild Bactrian Camels – the only wild Camelid species which is critically endangered

Unlike the dromedary, Bactrian Camels have two humps on their backs. Contrary to popular belief, these humps do not contain water. Instead, they store fat, enabling them to go long periods without sustenance. 

Many other adaptations allow them to manage the desert’s extremities. For instadesert’swithstand sandstorms, their nostrils can close, and two rows of thick eyelashes shield their eyes. Likewise, they rarely sweat and pass highly concentrated urine to retain the most liquid possible. 

Their fur coat comes in various shades of brown and beige. Their fur allows them to endure the extreme weathers of the rocky deserts they inhabit. During winter their coat grows thick and rugged to withstand temperatures plunging to -20°F. The skin is then shed almost instantaneously to manage degrees of 100°F in the summertime. 

Although the Dromedary measures taller at the withers, the Bactrian Camel is nonetheless the largest species in the camelids family, with certain Bactrian Camels reaching 2,200 lb. On average, though, a male weighs 1,300 lb, and a female weighs 1000 lb. When fully grown, the humps usually measure 7 ft above ground, and their body length reaches 7,5 ft – 11,5 ft.

Habitat and Distribution 

Bactrian camel in asia

The Bactrian Camel resides in Central Asia, ranging from Afghanistan to China, but they are most prevalent in the Mongolian Steppes and the Gobi desert. 

Bactrian Camels are migratory beings and therefore pass through a large variety of different climates. They typically inhabit landscapes of stony plains, dunes, semi-arid deserts, or mountainous areas. What these landscapes all have in common are severe shortages of food sources and water, as well as extreme climates. 

Although the Bactrian Camel is well equipped to survive such conditions, their prevalence is nonetheless closely interlinked with the presence of water. Groups will huddle around springs or rivers to clench their thirst, and in winter, they resort to eating snow to remain sufficiently hydrated. 

Furthermore, they are social animals and will travel in packs, typically called “caravans.” The total population” of Bact”ian Camels is currently 2 million, most of whom are domesticated. In other words, one can safely say that they are not deemed to be nearing endangerment. Especially when compared to their wild counterparts, the Wild Bactrian Camel, whose population sits at a small number of 400 individuals.


Bactrian camel in asia

Usually, the Bactrian Camel follows a herbivorous diet. Thanks to their resilient lips and mouth, they can ingest any plant, be it prickly, thorny, bitter, or salty. They cannot afford to be picky eaters because they live in harsh landscapes. They don’t mind consuming carcasses donated bones if no plants are available. During genuinely desperate times, they have even been known to resort to inedible objects such as ropes and plastic, unaware they lack nutritional value. 

If Bactrian Camels are in human care, they will usually be fed a mixture of hay and various grains. 

Bactrian Camels can go to impressive lengths without drinking water – for as long as months. When water and food are scarce, they can survive from fat stored in their two humps. However, the longer they go without sustenance, the more their humps start shrinking and becoming increasingly floppy. 

When the Bactrian Camel finally encounters water, it can consume vast amounts at a time. If they are thirsty, they can drink as much as 57 gallons of water in one go. 

Mating and Life Cycle 

Bactrian camel on tour

Like all the other species in the camelids family, Bactrian Camels are induced ovulators. Being induced ovulators means that they do not follow a menstrual cycle. Instead, ovulation occurs as a response to the physical action of mating and the presence of semen. 

Mothers are pregnant for over a year, usually 13 months, and continue to nurse their calf for another 1,5 years. Bactrian Camels are precocial, meaning their babies are fully developed at birth, and baby Bactrian Camels can even run within hours of entering the world. A newborn calf weighs roughly 79 lb.

Calves will remain with their mother until they become sexually mature, which occurs between 3-5 years old. Mothers will typically birth a calf every other year, and calves that have not yet left home will often help care for them. 

On average domesticated Bactrian Camels reach an age of 40 years old, and slightly less if not domesticated. 

Fun Facts about the Bactrian Camel

YouTube video

Let’s start with the Fun Facts about this special Camel. Did you know that the Bactrian Camel is a two-humped camel native to cold desert regions of Central Asia?

These hardy creatures can withstand harsh winters with temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius due to their thick coat of fur.

Not only are they well-adapted to survive in hostile environments, but Bactrian Camels also have another unique purpose – they’re often used as packs in Mongolia and China.

So next time you see a camel picture, remember there’s more to these fascinatithere’stures!

Thank you for reading. Also, look at our other Mammal articles, or check the Canadian Marble Fox.

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