The Bactrian Camel

And Why It Should Not Become Extinct

About the Bactrian Camel 🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫🐫

Bactrian camels are extremely impressive creatures. They have not one, but two humps to store fat which can be converted to water and energy when sustenance is not available. These humps give these camels their legendary ability to endure long periods of travel without water, even in harsh desert conditions!

Bactrian camels have impressive adaptations to help them survive under brutal conditions. For example, they have a shaggy coat that protects them in winter and falls away as seasons change and temperatures rise. Bactrians rarely sweat, helping them conserve fluids for long periods of time. In winter, plants may yield enough moisture to sustain a camel without water for several weeks.

When camels do refill, however, they soak up a lot of water. A very thirsty camel can drink up to 30 gallons in just 13 minutes!

In addition to all of this, Bactrians' nostrils close to keep sand at bay, and their bushy eyebrows and two rows of long eyelashes protect their eyes. Big, flat footpads help them navigate the rough rocky terrain and shifting desert sands without sinking under their own massive bulk or the weight of heavy packs, which is why they're so useful with transportation!

Characteristics! (Recap)

FUN FACT!

  • The only truly wild camels that still exist are Bactrian camels.
  • They can run up to speeds of more than 60 km/h.
  • Since they are excellent swimmers they can be taken across water bodies too.
  • Bactrian camels can live up to 50 years.

Habitat!

Bactrian Camels live in Central and East Asia's rocky deserts. Temperatures in these locations can become searingly hotβ€”over 100Β°F in summer. Yet they can also drop to –20Β°F in winter. Fortunately, Bactrian Camels have developed special adaptations to allow them to survive in such a brutal environment. A population of the last wild Bactrian camel herds survive in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China.

Interactions in the Community

Bactrian Camels sleep at night and find food at day. They are herbivorous animals and consume prickly and dry vegetation. When they are not able to find their main source of food, they consume bones, carcasses, and skin. Sometimes, they can also live in sandals, ropes, and tents. It's amazing how this camel can survive while eating such foods!

The main predator of the Bactrian camel is human beings. They are usually killed for their meat. Their meat is a delicacy for many people in the desert. Other predators of the Bactrian camel are gray wolves and the Caspian tiger. However, the Caspian tiger is extinct, but attacks on the Bactrian camel of gray wolves are increasing each year.


INFO

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Extinction

This species is assessed as Critically Endangered. The Wild Bactrian Camel is facing a population size reduction of at least 80% within the next three generations. This hypothesis is based on observations made during five expeditions In the Mongolian and Chinese Gobi Desert. The population is the target of continued hunting, mainly persecution because the camels compete with domestic camels and livestock for water and grazing, but also sport hunting. Mining, both legal and illegal, and the proposed construction of a gas pipeline and the associated industrial development, as well as a proposed kaolin mine, would also have an impact on the main Chinese subpopulation of Wild Bactrian Camel.

Bibliography

  • Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark. "Bactrian Camel." National Geographic. N.p., 12 Apr. 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • "Camelus Ferus ." Camelus Ferus (Bactrian Camel, Two-humped Camel, Wild Bactrian Camel). N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • "Info." Animals Adda. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • "Wild Bactrian Camel Videos, Photos and Facts." Arkive. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.