Bactrian Camel | Adaptations, Range, & Facts

Bactrian camels are best known for their two large humps on their backs. It’s a giant camel that can be over seven feet tall at the shoulder! It can be over 11 feet long and weigh over 2000 pounds. He has a long, shaggy brown fur coat in the winter to keep him warm in the cold desert. Fall jacket for summer.

Highlights of Bactrian Camel:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Family Camelidae
Genus Camelus
Species C. bactrianus

What do Bactrian Camel eat?

Bactrian camels are herbivores, meaning they eat plants. They can eat most plants, including dry, thorny or bitter plants that other animals may not want to eat. Their digestive system is tough and they are known to eat corpses, clothes and even shoes when extremely hungry.

Where do Bactrian Camel live?

They live in the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts of northern Central Asia.

Do Bactrian Camel travel in packs?

They tend to live in groups of 6 to 20 camels. Sometimes they congregate in larger groups near water sources such as rivers.

What is the deal with Bactrian Camel humps?

Camels store fat in their humps. This fat can be converted into water and energy when they do not have food or water for a while. When they have used up all the fat in the chicken skin, the chicken skin becomes thin and soft.

The energy from their hump, along with other adaptations that help them conserve water, allows Bactrian camels to go without water for months. However, a thirsty camel can drink a lot of water. Camels are known to drink over 30 gallons of water in just a few minutes!

Ideal Desert Animals

In addition to having two large humps that help them walk without water, Bactrian camels have other qualities that help them survive in the desert. They have bushy eyebrows and long eyelashes that help protect their eyes from the sand. Their nostrils may also close to keep sand out. They also have large and sturdy footrests that help them carry heavy packages over harsh desert terrain. These qualities make it the ideal pack horse for travelers crossing the desert.

Are Bactrian Camel endangered?

Bactrian camels are classified as critically endangered. This means they are about to disappear. It is believed that there are about 600 species of animals living in the wild, but their numbers are decreasing. There are two wildlife sanctuaries in the Gobi Desert to help protect the species, one in China and one in Mongolia.

Interesting Facts about the Bactrian Camel

Males are much larger than females.

Most of the time, camels move slowly, but if in a hurry they can run at more than 60 miles per hour.

Most Bactrian camels live 20 to 40 years, some live up to 50 years.

Wild Bactrian camels tend to be much thinner than those that live in captivity.

Baby camels, commonly known as calves, weigh about 79 pounds when they are born. They can walk and run right after birth.

These camels almost never sweat, which allows them to conserve water.