More than 3,000 years ago an ungainly but useful desert aimal was domesticated in Arabia. It was the Arabian camel, a long-legged beast withone large hump on its back. It could cross hot deserts without needing much water, and it could carry heavy loads without tiring. The two-humped Bactrian camel of central Asia was also domesticated long ago. It is sturdier than the Arabian and can carry heavier loads. During the winter, its brownish hair is thick and long for protection from the cold nights. It sheds is hair in patches in the spring, as the weather warms up. Camels are hornless hoofed mammals. Their hoofs are like leathery pads. Their toes spread apart
when they walk on sand o snow. Camels are called"ships of the desert" because they sway from side to side when they walk and carry loads. Some camels are trained for riding. They kneel to allow riders to mount. A camel saddle must fit over the large single hump or between the two smaller humps. A special breed of Arabian camel, the dromedary, has been developed for riding and racing. It has longer legs and weighs less than a regular "baggage" camel. It can run at speeds up to 10 miles per hour. A camel's hump is a large deposit of fat. The camel's body uses the fat as food when plant food is not available during long desert treks. Water is not stored in
Some topics in this essay:
Camel, Central Asia, South Africa, Asia, Northern Africa, Andes, Livestock, Desert,
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