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Recently extinct species

An extinct species of camel[12] in the separate genus Camelops, known as C. hesternus,[13] lived in western North America until the end of the Pleistocene, roughly 11,000 years ago.

Biology

The average life expectancy of a camel is 40 to 50 years.[14] A full-grown adult dromedary camel stands 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) at the shoulder and 2.15 m (7 ft 1 in) at the hump.[15] Bactrian camels can be a foot taller. Camels ca

An extinct species of camel[12] in the separate genus Camelops, known as C. hesternus,[13] lived in western North America until the end of the Pleistocene, roughly 11,000 years ago.

Biology

The average life expectancy of a camel is 40 to 50 years.[14] A full-grown adult dromedary camel stands 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) at the shoulder and 2.15 m (7 ft 1 in) at the hump.[15] Bactrian camels can be a foot taller. Camels can run at up to 65 km/h (40 mph) in short bursts and sustain speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph).[16] Bactrian camels weigh 300 to 1,000 kg (660 to 2,200 lb) and dromedaries 300 to 600 kg (660 to 1,320 lb). The widening toes on a camel's hoof provide supplemental grip for varying soil sediments.[17]

The male dromedary camel has an organ called a dulla in its throat, a large, inflatable sac he extrudes from his mouth when in rut to assert dominance and attract females. It resembles a long, swollen, pink tongue hanging out of the side of its mouth.[18] Camels mate by having both male and female sitting on the ground, with the male mounting from behind.[19] The male usually ejaculates three or four times within a single mating session.[20] Camelids are the only ungulates to mate in a sitting position.[21]

Ecological and behavioral adaptations

Camels do not directly store water in their humps; they are reservoirs of fatty tissue. Concentrating body fat in their humps minimizes the insulating effect fat would have if distributed over the rest of their bodies, helping camels survive in hot climates.[22][23] When this tissue is metabolized, it yields more than one gram of water for every gram of fat processed. This The average life expectancy of a camel is 40 to 50 years.[14] A full-grown adult dromedary camel stands 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) at the shoulder and 2.15 m (7 ft 1 in) at the hump.[15] Bactrian camels can be a foot taller. Camels can run at up to 65 km/h (40 mph) in short bursts and sustain speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph).[16] Bactrian camels weigh 300 to 1,000 kg (660 to 2,200 lb) and dromedaries 300 to 600 kg (660 to 1,320 lb). The widening toes on a camel's hoof provide supplemental grip for varying soil sediments.[17]

The male dromedary camel has an organ called a dulla in its throat, a large, inflatable sac he extrudes from his mouth when in rut to assert dominance and attract females. It resembles a long, swollen, pink tongue hanging out of the side of its mouth.[18] Camels mate by having both male and female sitting on the ground, with the male mounting from behind.[19] The male usually ejaculates three or four times within a single mating session.[20] Camelids are the only ungulates to mate in a sitting position.[21]

Camels do not directly store water in their humps; they are reservoirs of fatty tissue. Concentrating body fat in their humps minimizes the insulating effect fat would have if distributed over the rest of their bodies, helping camels survive in hot climates.[22][23] When this tissue is metabolized, it yields more than one gram of water for every gram of fat processed. This fat metabolization, while releasing energy, causes water to evaporate from the lungs during respiration (as oxygen is required for the metabolic process): overall, there is a net decrease in water.[24][25]

Commercial camel market headcount in 2003

Around 700,000 dromedary camels are now feral in Australia, descended from those introduced as a method of transport in the 19th and early 20th centuries.Around 700,000 dromedary camels are now feral in Australia, descended from those introduced as a method of transport in the 19th and early 20th centuries.[132][142][146] This population is growing about 8% per year.[147] Representatives of the Australian government have culled more than 100,000 of the animals in part because the camels use too much of the limited resources needed by sheep farmers.[148]

A small population of introduced camels, dromedaries and Bactrians, wandered through Southwestern United States after having been imported in the 19th century as part of the U.S. Camel Corps experiment. When the project ended, they were used as draft animals in mines and escaped or were released. Twenty-five U.S. camels were bought and exported to Canada during the Cariboo Gold Rush.[95]

The Bactrian camel is, as of 2010Southwestern United States after having been imported in the 19th century as part of the U.S. Camel Corps experiment. When the project ended, they were used as draft animals in mines and escaped or were released. Twenty-five U.S. camels were bought and exported to Canada during the Cariboo Gold Rush.[95]

The Bactrian camel is, as of 2010, reduced to an estimated 1.4 million animals, most of which are domesticated.[46][142][149] The Wild Bactrian camel is a separate species and is the only truly wild (as opposed to feral) camel in the world. The wild camels are critically endangered and number approximately 1400, inhabiting the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts in China and Mongolia.[14][150]