There are six members of the family Camelidae. Two of these are 'true' camels; one living in Asia and the other in Arabia and North Africa. The other four members of the family are the South American 'camels', better known to us perhaps, as llamas.

The Arabian Camel

Dromedary CamelThe one-humped Arabian camel (camelus dromedarius) no longer exists in the wild state, although the domesticated form is widely used from North Africa to India as an almost indispensable riding or baggage animal.

This camel has a single hump, a pale yellow-brown coat, woolly hair, and broad feet which help to prevent the animal from sinking into the soft desert sand. The Arabian camel has a longer life expectancy than its Asian relative and may live to the age of 55 years or more.

A special form of riding camel developed from the Arabian species is known as the dromedary, but it is quite incorrect to label all one-humped camels as such.

Know your Dromedary from your Bactrian with this excellent memory video by the BBC.

There are probably about 3 million Arabian camels in the world today, and the majority of these live on African soil. In the past however, these camels were introduced to many other parts of the world and some feral Arabian camels may still be seen in Italy, Spain and the desert regions of Northern Australia.

Read More: Camel Habits

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