3 Different Types of Camels with Origin and Facts

Ever thought about whether camels have breeds or kinds? Well, Camels do have been categorized in breeds but they have kings as well. There are three kinds of camels that have been living and entertaining us since the beginning. The kinds are;

  • Bactrian Camel
  • Dromedary Camel
  • Wild Bactrian Camel

Dromedaries are considered the most widely spread camels as 94% of the total camel population is Dromedary whereas, the rest is Bactrian and Wild Bactrian camels.

The Wild Bactrian camels are critically endangered, so various books and authentic websites are neglecting and considering Dromedary and Domestic Bactrian the only two kinds. Since the Wild Bactrian camels have not “totally” left, we would discuss them as well. As you can judge now, we are going to discuss all three kinds of camels in detail. So, let’s get to today’s topic, starting with Bactrian Camels.

1. Bactrian Camel

Bactrian-Camel

Bactrian is one of the two kinds of domestic camels. This two-humped type is a little less common than Dromedary but they can not be considered rare at all, it’s just that Dromedaries are great in number.

Appearance

Bactrian is the even-toed shortest and heaviest kind of camel that is living and serving us in almost all parts of the world. The male Bactrian camels are breathtakingly larger and heavier than the females but the females are large and heavy enough not to be considered the “shortest kind”.

Bactrian camels have been blessed with two humps, long exceptionally wooly coat, prominently thick mane, and beard, long triangular face, long eyelashes, sealable nostrils, split upper lip, and two broad toes with undivided soles. In short, Bactrian camels look so unique that they can be easily recognized.

Distinctive feature

Bactrian camels, no doubt, have a camel-like appearance. No matter how unique an animal is, it still looks similar to its fellows. The same is the case with Bactrian camels, they do have a unique appearance but they still look breathtakingly similar to their other kinds. If we judge Bactrian camels keenly, the presence of two humps and heavy coats are the marks of the Bactrian camel’s identification.

Color

Even though the two humps and the exceptional wooly coat make the Bactrian camel stand out, their color does not allow them to write history. They have been blessed with a very camel-like color. To be more specific, their coat is either dark brown or sandy beige color.

Height

Bactrian camels are fairly short, their average height is reported to be 2.134m. Breaking it down further, the length of the head and body is somewhere between 2.25 to 3.45m, shoulders are 1.80 to 2.30m tall, and their tail is usually 0.35 to 0.55m long.

Weight

These exceptional Bactrian camels are short and heavier, on average, their weight fluctuates between 660 to 2200lbs. In other words, they remain between 300 to 1000 kgs.

Speed

Despite the bulky coat and weight, Bactrian camels walk much faster than regular camels. As per the legit reports, the healthy active Bactrian camels can cover 65 kilometers per hour. Other than that, they are also good swimmers, they swim well and fast as well.

Common Names

The scientific name Bactrian camels have got is “camelus bactrianus” whereas we usually refer to them as “Bactrian camel”, ” domestic Bactrian camel”, or “Mongolian camel”. 

Use

Due to their exceptional cold and drought tolerance, the Bactrian camels are usually kept as pack animals. Other than the typical purpose, their supernatural coat, and the two prominent humps have brought them to several camel admirers as an ornament as well.

Diet

Bactrian camels are not picky eaters at all. They eat whatever they find in the desert whether it’s dried leaves, grass, thorns, pricky, salty, bitter vegetation, or animal bones. When the food is scarce, they do not mind eating tents, ropes, and even sandals. They also eat snow if they can find it, to fulfill their supernatural water needs. 

Lifespan

Like all types of camels out there, the well-pampered Bactrian camels can live up to 50 years whereas the ones that are surviving in captivity normally breathe up to 40 years.

Distribution

These two-humped camels are found in several countries of the world. According to research, The majority of the population is surviving in Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, India, and Russia.

Gestation period

Their Gestation period is noticed to be thirteen months.

2. Dromedary Camel

Dromedary-Camel

Dromedaries are the camels that we grew up being fascinated with. The Dromedary camels are widely distributed in almost all countries of the planet earth. This particular kind is so common that even kids can recognize it easily.

Appearance

Dromedary might be common but they are not so ordinary. This commonly found domestic animal has one hump, long curved neck, and narrow chest. Besides that, they usually have long hair flowing down the throat, humps, and shoulders.

Dromedaries are not as heavy as Bactrian camels, they look taller and slimmer instead. Their coat is also comparatively less heavy and thicker than Bactrian camels.

Distinctive feature

Though they have not so much to call unique, one hump and the hair flowing down the throat, hump, and shoulders are what make them stand out from the crowd.

Color

Unlike Bactrian camels, Dromedaries do not show different shades of brown color. All Dromedaries are found in one brown color, in fact, the shade of this color is brown enough to be called ” brown”.

Height

Dromedaries are considered the tallest of all three kinds of camels existing and serving us in several ways. The fully-grown male Dromedaries stand between 1.8 to 2m whereas, females can be 1.7 to 1.9m(that’s quite impressive than the other kinds). 

Weight

Dromedaries more or less weigh the same as Bactrian camels, the healthy male Dromedary camel weighs around 880 to 1320lbs whereas, the females 660 to 1190lbs. 

Speed

Dromedaries are slimmer and much faster than the Bactrian camels. They can easily travel 40 miles that are 65 kilometers in an hour while carrying a full-grown man or noticeable weight on their back. Dromedary camels have made a record of traveling 115 miles(185 kilometers) in less than 11 hours and it’s admirable.

Common Names

Unfortunately, Dromedaries are never bothered enough to have nicknames, their scientific name is Camelus dromedarius. Other than their typical and scientific name, they are often referred to as “one-humped camel”. Some not-so-familiar individuals also recognize them as ” Arabian camels”.

Use

Dromedaries are also domestic animals, they have been more or less the same as the other domestic kind; Bactrian. They are exceptional pack animals and an important means of transportation for the people of the desert. Other than that, Dromedaries are often kept for milk, meat, wool, and hides as well. Some regions eat this camel meat as a food.

Diet

Dromedaries’ diet is also not so different from the regular camels. The Dromedaries that are living in the desert are receiving nutrition from dried grass, bushes, twigs, and desert vegetation whereas, the said kind in captivity, is majorly surviving on hay, grains, vitamins, and mineral supplements. Read a complete guide on What Do Camels Eat?

Lifespan

As camels do not usually get a luxurious lifestyle, being so big, they are hardly demanded as a pet so they are forced to live a rough and tough life. This rough routine does not allow them to live more than 40 years. Some exceptionally hardy Dromedaries have been reported to go above 40 years as well but the number is barely noticeable.

Distribution

Dromedaries are regarded as the most commonly found camels. These camels are found in almost every corner of the planet earth but a huge number of the population is living and serving the natives of Sahara Desert, Africa. A noticeable number of Dromedary camels are found in India as well. So, India and Africa are the two countries that are holding the most Dromedary population.

Gestation period

Dromedary camels take 15 months to give birth to a single calf.

3. Wild Bactrian Camel

Wild-Bactrian-Camel

Wild Bactrian camels as the name suggests are wild, they have been living in the wild since the beginning of time. Like all wild animals out there, Wild Bactrian camels can not be domesticated at all.

As per the doubtful reports, the Wild Bactrian camels are “actually” the domestic Bactrian camels that escaped, started living in the wild, became feral, and un raiseable. The science, however, says it’s a separate species, which report is more true is yet to be decided. But science can not be wrong, right?

Appearance

The wild Bactrian camels resemble the fellow Bactrian kind. The double humps and more or less the same size have got them the name “Wild Bactrian camel”. The Wild Bactrian Camels, if we judge them physically, have got a small compressed body, slender legs, a thick shaggy coat, conical-shaped humps, incredibly thick eyelashes, large toes with tough undivided soles. 

Distinctive feature

If Wild Bactrian has got similarities with the domestic ones, there are noticeable differences as well. The narrow feet, compressed body, smaller conical humps, flatter skull, and short sparser wool are all the signs that Wild Bactrian camels belong to a separate species of camels. 

Color

As far as the coat color is concerned, the Wild Bactrian camels can be of beige to dark brown color. The coat color, maybe because of living in wild, gives a little dirty brown shade.

Height

The Wild Bactrian camels a little shorter than the domestic Bactrian camels, their height is a bit shorter than the average Bactrian camel height, which is 2.134m. Their tail, shoulders, and the length of their body and head are also comparatively smaller than the domestic camels.

Weight

The weighing figures different websites have stated for Wild Bactrian camels are all doubtful. It’s super hard for us to determine the wild animal’s weight or height as they can not get caught easily, if they do get caught, they do not allow us to control them. Even if the weighing figures are doubtful, it can be said with utmost surety that they are a little less heavy than the domestic Bactrian camels.

Speed

The Wild Bactrian’s lifestyle is incredibly different than the domestic ones, they are much cunning, alert, and faster than the latter. It is noticed that Wild Bactrian camels can move faster but they usually roam around at a normal camel speed. If they have to escape, they can easily cover 65 kilometers per hour. Like walking, they swim faster as well.

Common Names

Wild Bactrian camels are scientifically defined as camelus ferus. Other than that, they are only Wild Bactrian or Mongolian camels for all of us.

Use

Just similar to other wild animals out there, Wild Bactrian camels are of no use to us. They would be serving like their fellows if we could domesticate them.

Diet

What can they eat other than that being grown in the wild? Unfortunately, Wild Bactrian camels have to survive on dry grasses and thorny bitter plants.

The Wild animals are not strictly herbivores, they are also seen eating and surviving on fishes and bones as well. Even though the Wild Bactrian Camels eat fishes, bones, they do not prefer them over the regular camel food.

Lifespan

The Wild Bactrian camels are extremely hardy, they have been known for living up to 50 years as well.

Distribution

The Wild Bactrian camels are now listed as ” critically endangered”, there are quite a few Wild Bactrian camels surviving the wild harsh world. The 1000 Wild Bactrian camels that are left, have been spending their lives in northwestern China and Southwest Mongolia.

Gestation period

The Gestation period, for Wild Bactrian camels, is 13 months and usually gives birth to two calves.

Summary

There are three kinds of camels: Bactrian, Dromedary, and Wild Bactrian. The Dromedaries are the one-humped regular camels whereas, the Bactrians, whether they are domestic or wild, have two humps. 94% of the total camel population is Dromedary whereas, the 6% represents Wild and domestic Bactrian camels. The Wild Bactrian camels are now listed as “critically endangered” as there are only 1000 said camels that are left in northeast China and southwest Mongolia.

  • Hi, I am Talon Juper, a passionate farmer, and Livestock Expert. I have done my graduation in Agriculture and Animal breeding. Relevant to Farm Desire as a research writer and data recorder.

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