Dromedary
Overview
The dromedary (ˈdrɒmədɛəri ˈdrɒmədri) or Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius) is a large, even-toed ungulate
Even-toed ungulate
The even-toed ungulates are ungulates whose weight is borne about equally by the third and fourth toes, rather than mostly or entirely by the third as in odd-toed ungulates such as horses....

 with one hump on its back. Its native range is unclear, but it was probably the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

. The domesticated
Domestication
Domestication or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. In the Convention on Biological Diversity a domesticated species is defined as a 'species in which the evolutionary process has been...

 form occurs widely in North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 and the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. The world's only population of dromedaries exhibiting wild behaviour is an introduced feral population
Australian feral camel
Thousands of the two main species of Australian feral camels, mostly dromedaries but also some bactrian camels, were imported into Australia during the 19th century for transport and construction as part of the colonisation of the central and western parts of Australia. Motorised transport replaced...

 in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

.

The dromedary camel is the largest member of the camel family.
Encyclopedia
The dromedary (ˈdrɒmədɛəri ˈdrɒmədri) or Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius) is a large, even-toed ungulate
Even-toed ungulate
The even-toed ungulates are ungulates whose weight is borne about equally by the third and fourth toes, rather than mostly or entirely by the third as in odd-toed ungulates such as horses....

 with one hump on its back. Its native range is unclear, but it was probably the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

. The domesticated
Domestication
Domestication or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. In the Convention on Biological Diversity a domesticated species is defined as a 'species in which the evolutionary process has been...

 form occurs widely in North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 and the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. The world's only population of dromedaries exhibiting wild behaviour is an introduced feral population
Australian feral camel
Thousands of the two main species of Australian feral camels, mostly dromedaries but also some bactrian camels, were imported into Australia during the 19th century for transport and construction as part of the colonisation of the central and western parts of Australia. Motorised transport replaced...

 in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

.

The dromedary camel is the largest member of the camel family. Other living members of the camel family include the Bactrian camel
Bactrian camel
The Bactrian camel is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of central Asia. It is presently restricted in the wild to remote regions of the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts of Mongolia and Xinjiang. A small number of wild Bactrian camels still roam the Mangystau Province of southwest...

, as well as the South American species llama
Llama
The llama is a South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since pre-Hispanic times....

, alpaca
Alpaca
An alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Chile at an altitude of to above sea level, throughout the year...

, vicuña
Vicuña
The vicuña or vicugna is one of two wild South American camelids, along with the guanaco, which live in the high alpine areas of the Andes. It is a relative of the llama, and is now believed to share a wild ancestor with domesticated alpacas, which are raised for their fibre...

 and guanaco. The dromedary has one hump on its back, in contrast to the two humps on the Bactrian camel
Bactrian camel
The Bactrian camel is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of central Asia. It is presently restricted in the wild to remote regions of the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts of Mongolia and Xinjiang. A small number of wild Bactrian camels still roam the Mangystau Province of southwest...

.

Anatomy

Adult males grow to a height of and females to The weight is usually in the range of for males, with females being 10% lighter. They show remarkable adaptability in body temperature, from to . This is an adaptation to conserve water.

Male dromedaries have a soft palate
Palate
The palate is the roof of the mouth in humans and other mammals. It separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity. A similar structure is found in crocodilians, but, in most other tetrapods, the oral and nasal cavities are not truly separate. The palate is divided into two parts, the anterior...

, which they inflate to produce a deep pink sack, which is often mistaken for a tongue, called a doula in Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, hanging out of the sides of their mouths to attract females during the mating season.

Dromedaries are also noted for their thick eyelash
Eyelash
An eyelash or simply lash is one of the hairs that grow at the edge of the eyelid. Eyelashes protect the eye from debris and perform some of the same function as whiskers do on a cat or a mouse in the sense that they are sensitive to being touched, thus providing a warning that an object is near...

es and small, hairy ears.

The dromedary has two toes on each foot, appearing like flat, leathery pads. The pads widen under the weight of the dromedary when it steps on the ground. This prevents the dromedary from sinking much into the sand. When the dromedary walks, it moves both the feet on the same side of the body simultaneously, then the same movement is repeated on the other side of the body. This way of walking makes the body swing from side to side as the dromedary walks ahead, hence the nickname of the animal; "the ship of the desert".

Domestication

Dromedaries were first domesticated in central or southern Arabia. Some experts believe it happened around 4000 BC, others as recently as 1400 BC.

Today there are almost 13 million domesticated dromedaries, found mainly in the area from Western India via Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 through Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 to northern Africa. No dromedaries survive in the wild in their original range, although the escaped population of Australian feral camel
Australian feral camel
Thousands of the two main species of Australian feral camels, mostly dromedaries but also some bactrian camels, were imported into Australia during the 19th century for transport and construction as part of the colonisation of the central and western parts of Australia. Motorised transport replaced...

s is estimated to number at least 300,000 and possibly over 1 million.

Around the second millennium BC, the dromedary was introduced to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. In recent times the dromedaries were introduced as domestic animals to the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

.

Although there are several other camelid
Camelid
Camelids are members of the biological family Camelidae, the only living family in the suborder Tylopoda. Dromedaries, Bactrian Camels, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos are in this group....

s, the only other surviving species of true wild camel today is the Bactrian camel
Bactrian camel
The Bactrian camel is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of central Asia. It is presently restricted in the wild to remote regions of the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts of Mongolia and Xinjiang. A small number of wild Bactrian camels still roam the Mangystau Province of southwest...

. The Bactrian camel was domesticated sometime before 2500 BC in Asia, well after the earliest estimates for the dromedary. The dromedary is taller and faster than Bactrian camels. With a rider, they can maintain for hours at a time.

Uses

Dromedaries are used as beasts of burden in most of their domesticated range. Unlike horses, they kneel for the loading of passengers and cargo. Dromedaries have a reputation for being bad-tempered and obstinate creatures that spit and kick. A camel will show displeasure by stamping its feet and running.

Their hair is also used as a source material for woven goods, ranging from Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

 tents to garments. They also have significant culinary uses. Dromedary meat is widely consumed in the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

, Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, and, to a lesser extent, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, among other places. Dromedary milk is also consumed by people. Border guards in many remote desert locations in Egypt use camels for patrols. Such mounted border guards are called هجان haggan (pl. هجانة hagganah).

Dairy products

Camel milk is a staple food
Staple food
A staple food is one that is eaten regularly and in such quantities that it constitutes a dominant portion of a diet, and that supplies a high proportion of energy and nutrient needs. Most people live on a diet based on one or more staples...

 of desert nomad tribes, and is richer in fat and protein than cow milk. It is said to have many health-conserving properties. It is used as a medicinal product in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

and as an aphrodisiac
Aphrodisiac
An aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire. The name comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love. Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable...

 in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

. Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

s believe the curative powers of camel milk are enhanced if the camel's diet consists of certain plants. The milk can readily be made into yogurt, but is difficult to make into butter or cheese. Butter or yogurt made from camel milk can have a faint greenish tinge.

Camel milk cannot be made into butter
Butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

 by the traditional churning method. It can be made if it is soured first, churned, and a clarifying agent added, or if it is churned at 24 –, but times vary greatly in achieving results. Until recently, camel milk could not be made into cheese because rennet
Rennet
Rennet is a complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach to digest the mother's milk, and is often used in the production of cheese. Rennet contains many enzymes, including a proteolytic enzyme that coagulates the milk, causing it to separate into solids and liquid...

 was unable to coagulate the milk proteins to allow the collection of curd
Curd
Curds are a dairy product obtained by curdling milk with rennet or an edible acidic substance such as lemon juice or vinegar, and then draining off the liquid portion. The increased acidity causes the milk proteins to tangle into solid masses, or curds. The remaining liquid, which contains only...

s. Under the commission of the FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and...

, Professor J.P. Ramet of the École Nationale Supérieure d'Agronomie et des Industries Alimentaires
École nationale supérieure d'agronomie et des industries alimentaires
The École Nationale Supérieure d'Agronomie et des Industries Alimentaires is a French grande école located in Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy near Nancy in the Meurthe-et-Moselle département that specialises in biological and agricultural engineering.-External links:...

 was able to produce curdling by the addition of calcium phosphate
Calcium phosphate
Calcium phosphate is the name given to a family of minerals containing calcium ions together with orthophosphates , metaphosphates or pyrophosphates and occasionally hydrogen or hydroxide ions ....

 and vegetable rennet. The cheese produced from this process has low levels of cholesterol and lactose, but sales are limited owing to the low yield of cheese from milk and the uncertainty of pasteurization levels for camel milk, which makes adherence to dairy import regulations difficult.

Meat

A camel carcass
Body
With regard to living things, a body is the physical body of an individual. "Body" often is used in connection with appearance, health issues and death...

 can provide a substantial amount of meat. The male dromedary carcass can weigh 400 kg (882 lb) or more. The carcass of a female camel weighs less than the male, ranging between 250 and 350 kg (551.2 and 771.6 lb). The brisket, ribs and loin are among the preferred parts, but the hump is considered a delicacy and is most favored. It is reported that camel meat tastes like coarse beef, but older camels can prove to be very tough and less flavorful.

Camel meat is low in fat, and can thus taste dry. The Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

 Officers' Club serves a camel burger, as this allows the meat to be mixed with beef or lamb fat, improving both the texture and taste. In Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, the exclusive Nihari
Nihari
Nihari is a popular meat dish of Pakistanis of South Asia. Its roots lie in the Nawab kitchens having achieved fame via the storied royal kitchens of Lucknow in present-day Uttar Pradesh, long the seat of the Nawab of Avadh and is also relished in India by Muslims and non-Muslim foodies...

 restaurants prepare this dish from camel meat, while the general restaurants prepare it with either beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 or meat from the water buffalo
Water buffalo
The water buffalo is a domesticated bovid widely kept in Asia, Europe and South America.Water buffalo can also refer to:*Wild water buffalo , the wild ancestor of the domestic water buffalo...

.

Camel meat has been eaten for centuries. It has been recorded by ancient Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 writers as an available dish in ancient Persia at banquets, usually roasted whole. The ancient Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 emperor Heliogabalus
Elagabalus
Elagabalus , also known as Heliogabalus, was Roman Emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan Dynasty, he was Syrian on his mother's side, the son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. Early in his youth he served as a priest of the god El-Gabal at his hometown, Emesa...

 enjoyed camel's heel. Camel meat is still eaten in certain regions, including Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, where it is called hilib geel, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 and other arid regions where alternative forms of protein may be limited or where camel meat has had a long cultural history.

In the Middle East, camel meat is the rarest and most prized source of pastırma
Pastirma
Pastirma or bastirma is a highly seasoned, air-dried cured beef in the cuisines of the former Ottoman countries.-Etymology:The name bastirma is from . bastırma is the gerund of the verb bastırmak , which means "to depress, restrain"...

. In addition to the meat, the blood can also be consumed. In northern Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 camel blood is an important source of iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

, vitamin D
Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. In humans, vitamin D is unique both because it functions as a prohormone and because the body can synthesize it when sun exposure is adequate ....

, salts and minerals. Camel meat is also occasionally found in Australian cuisine
Australian cuisine
Australian cuisine refers to the cuisine of the Commonwealth of Australia and its preceding indigenous and colonial societies. Indigenous Australians have occupied the lands of Australia for some 40,000-60,000 years, during which time they developed a unique hunter gatherer diet, known as "bush...

, including a camel lasagne served in Alice Springs restaurants.

Health issues

A 2005 report, issued jointly by the Saudi Ministry of Health and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, details cases of human bubonic plague
Bubonic plague
Plague is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis, named after the French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin. Primarily carried by rodents and spread to humans via fleas, the disease is notorious throughout history, due to the unrivaled scale of death...

 resulting from the ingestion of raw camel liver.

Cultural prohibitions on consuming camel products

According to Jewish tradition, camel meat and milk are not kosher. Camels possess only one of the two kosher criteria
Kosher foods
Kosher foods are those that conform to the regulations of the Jewish Halakhic law framework, kosher meaning fit or allowed to be eaten. A list of some kosher foods are found in the book of Leviticus 11:1-47. There are also certain kosher rules found there...

; although they chew their cuds
Ruminant
A ruminant is a mammal of the order Artiodactyla that digests plant-based food by initially softening it within the animal's first compartment of the stomach, principally through bacterial actions, then regurgitating the semi-digested mass, now known as cud, and chewing it again...

, they do not possess cloven hooves
Cloven hoof
A cloven hoof is a hoof split into two toes. This is found on members of the mammalian order Artiodactyla. Examples of mammals that possess this type of hoof are deer and sheep. In folklore and popular culture, a cloven hoof has long been associated with the Devil.The two digits of cloven hoofed...

. (See: Taboo food and drink
Taboo food and drink
Taboo food and drink are food and beverages which people abstain from consuming for religious, cultural or hygienic reasons. Many food taboos forbid the meat of a particular animal, including mammals, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, bony fish, and crustaceans...

)

History

Around the second millennium BC, camels had become established in the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

 region, but they disappeared again from around 900 BC. The Persian invasion of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 under Cambyses
Cambyses
Cambyses can refer to two ancient rulers and two plays:-*Cambyses I, King of Anshan 600 to 559 BCE*Cambyses II, King of Persia 530 to 522 BCE*Cambyses, a tragedy by Thomas Preston...

 in 525 BC introduced domesticated
Domestication
Domestication or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. In the Convention on Biological Diversity a domesticated species is defined as a 'species in which the evolutionary process has been...

 camels to the area. Domesticated camels were used through much of North Africa, and the Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 maintained a corps of camel warriors to patrol the edge of the desert. The Persian camels, however, were not particularly suited to trading or travel over the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

; rare journeys made across the desert were made on chariots pulled by horses.

Stronger and more durable breeds of dromedaries first arrived in Africa in the fourth century. These camels became common after the Islamic conquest of North Africa. While the invasion was accomplished largely on horseback, the new links to the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 allowed camels to be imported en masse. These camels were well-suited to long desert journeys and could carry a great deal of cargo, allowing substantial trade over the Sahara
Trans-Saharan trade
Trans-Saharan trade requires travel across the Sahara to reach sub-Saharan Africa. While existing from prehistoric times, the peak of trade extended from the 8th century until the late 16th century.- Increasing desertification and economic incentive :...

 for the first time.

In 1840, six camels were shipped from Tenerife to Adelaide, but only one survived the trip, arriving on October 12, 1840. The explorer John Horrocks
John Ainsworth Horrocks
John Ainsworth Horrocks was one of the first settlers in the Clare Valley in 1839. He established the town of Penwortham in South Australia. Horrocks is unfortunately known more for his death, when he was accidentally shot in a hunting accident...

 was among the first to use camels to explore the arid interior of Australia during the 1840s. About a million feral camels
Australian feral camel
Thousands of the two main species of Australian feral camels, mostly dromedaries but also some bactrian camels, were imported into Australia during the 19th century for transport and construction as part of the colonisation of the central and western parts of Australia. Motorised transport replaced...

 are estimated to live in Australia, descendants of domesticated camels that were released or ran away on their own.

Status

The dromedary is the provincial animal (unofficial) of Pakistan's Balochistan provincial region.

See also

  • Camel
    Camel
    A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

  • Bactrian camel
    Bactrian camel
    The Bactrian camel is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of central Asia. It is presently restricted in the wild to remote regions of the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts of Mongolia and Xinjiang. A small number of wild Bactrian camels still roam the Mangystau Province of southwest...

  • Camel racing
    Camel racing
    Camel racing is a popular sport in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Australia, and Mongolia. Professional camel racing, like horse racing, is an event for betting and tourist attraction...

  • Camel troops
  • Camel wrestling
    Camel wrestling
    Camel wrestling is a sport in which two male Tülu camels wrestle, typically in response to a female camel in heat being led before them. It is most common in the Aegean region of Turkey, but is also been practiced in other parts of the Middle East and South Asia.-History:Camel fighting originated...

  • Camelops
    Camelops
    Camelops is an extinct genus of camels that once roamed western North America, where it disappeared at the end of the Pleistocene about 10,000 years ago. Its name is derived from the Greek κάμελος + , thus "camel-face."-Background:...

  • Australian feral camel
    Australian feral camel
    Thousands of the two main species of Australian feral camels, mostly dromedaries but also some bactrian camels, were imported into Australia during the 19th century for transport and construction as part of the colonisation of the central and western parts of Australia. Motorised transport replaced...

  • Camel farming in Sudan
    Camel farming in Sudan
    Over the past few decades camels have regained recognition for their food-producing potential in arid and semi-arid areas of Sudan. After having been dismissed as uneconomical by the Sudanese government, their vital role in supporting human populations in some of the poorest and frequently...


External links


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In some contexts, dromedary, which derives from the Greek δραμεῖν (to run), can refer to any swift riding camel, regardless of the number of humps it has.
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