Bactrian camels have two humps rather than the single hump of their Arabian relatives. The humps store fat, which can be converted to water and energy when sustenance is not available. These humps give camels their legendary ability to endure long periods of travel without water, even in harsh desert conditions. As their fat is depleted, the humps become floppy and flabby.
Bactrian camels live in Central and East Asia’s rocky deserts. Temperatures in these locales can become extremely hot and drop to below freezing in winter. Bactrian camels have developed special adaptations to allow them to survive in such a brutal environment. They have a double row of eyelashes to shield them from sand and dust. They have thick, bushy eyebrows to shield their eyes from the sun and their nostrils even close to protect them from sand. They have a shaggy coat that protects them in winter and falls away as seasons change and temperatures rise.
As far as their behaviour, camels are unpredictable at best. They can be content and patient, but at times, stubborn and just plain mean. Bactrian camels give birth usually to just one calf after a gestation period of 12 to 14 months.
Bactrian Camel @ Safari Niagara
- Safari Niagara is home to two Bactiran camels, Lexis and O’Neil.
- Lexus’ Birthday is March 9, 2012 and Cazoo’s Birthday is April 1, 2002
- Cazoo and Lexus can be found at the Bactrian camel exhibit located between Tram Stop #5 & #6.
Did you know?
- Camels are diurnal creatures. They sleep at night and use the day for activities like searching for food.
- Camels have been used to transport goods across the desert throughout history because of their unique feet. Unlike other animals with hooves, all their weight rests evenly on their sole-pads and not just the tip of their toes where their hooves are. This adaptation enables them to walk on top of sand and snow instead of sinking into it.
- Bactrian camels are critically endangered. Their habitats are disappearing due to human interaction because of mining, industrial development, and farming.