India | Jammu and Kashmir

Bactrian Camel

Bactrian camel or Camelus Bactrianus is a native of Central Asian deserts (north of the Himalayas). Stout in appearance, it has two humps unlike other camels. These humps work as a means to store fat which is utilized during shortage of food. Apart from this, they stock about 2 gallons of water in special sacks that are kept in their stomachs. Depending on the circumstances, it changes its body temperature.

Normally the camel's length comes to 10 ft, height 7 ft and weight up to 1,500 pounds. The male ones are heavier than the females. The color is light brown. Other unique features are bushy eyebrows, long eyelashes and hair inside the ears. Hair grows on top of the head, along lower part of the neck, hump and legs. They have the ability to close their nostrils and lips firmly to get rid of the sand flying in the deserts. Tough mouths enable them to eat even sharp objects such as thorns.

Bactrian camels are domesticated and the wild type is seldom seen. Though carnivores, they eat flesh of other animals, and ropes in times of crisis. Drinking of salty water does not make them ill. Their primary predators are man and tiger. The bactrians travel in a group consisting of 6-20 camels. In India, it is commonly found in the Nubra Valley of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.

Updated on 15th November, 2005


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