Bactrian camel - drinking 120 litres of water at a time!

bactrian camel The Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) is native to the steppes of eastern Asia. As we all know a camel has two lumbs, and a dromedary has one. Contrary to popular belief, the lumbs are not used to store water for travelling in dry areas.

From Wikipedia: "Camels are well known for their humps. They do not store water in them as is commonly believed. Their humps are a reservoir of fatty tissue, while water is stored in their blood. However, when this tissue is metabolised, it is not only a source of energy, but yields through reaction with oxygen from the air 1111 g of water per 1000 g of fat. This allows them to survive without water for about two weeks, and without food for up to a month."

Compared to the dromedary, it is built for a more harsh life in the desert, the dromedary being taller an faster. A Bactrian camel can drink as much as 120 (!) litres of water at a time... The wild Bactrian camel population was first discovered by Przewalski, the same man who gave his name to the Przewalski horse.

Thanks to Thomas for pointing out that Camels do not store water in their humps.

Bactrian camel photographed by Jcwf, licensed under">

Which zoos have them?
Brookfield Zoo (United States), Edinburgh Zoo (United Kingdom), Los Angeles Zoo (United States), Minnesota Zoo (United States) and Saint Louis Zoological Park (United States)

The Bactrian camel, wild bactrian camel is listed as Critically Endangered (CR), facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Namings for the Bactrian camel
A young / baby of a Bactrian camel is called a 'calf'. The females are called 'cow' and males 'bull'. A Bactrian camel group is called a 'flock'.
Some facts about the
Bactrian camel

Adult weight : 475 kg (1045 lbs)

Maximum longevity : 35 years

Female maturity :1278 days

Male maturity : 1278 days

Gestation : 395 days

Weaning : 319 days

Litter size : 1

Litters per year : 1

Interval between litters : 730 days

Weight at birth : 36 kg (79.2 lbs)

Source: AnAge, licensed under CC

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