Dubai - Arabian camel, Camelus dromedarius,
The 'one-hump' dromedary.
The Arabian camel or dromedary adult camel, standing about 1.85m or 6 feet at the shoulder and 2.15m or 7 feet at the hump, was domesticated thousands of years ago by desert traders, who trained them to make the strenuously long journey from the southern Arabian peninsular to the most northern regions of the Middle East, the domesticated camel went on to become the desert dweller's prefered method of transport and into the bargain they got access to fresh milk and meat as well as hides, wool and shelter from sand-storms and even shade when needed! A camel can carry as much as 450kg or 990lbs but a more comfortable cargo weight is around 150kgs or 330lbs. Contrary to popular belief, a camel does not store water in its hump. In fact it is an area fatty tissue which the camel draws down energy when food is in short supply. When a camel uses the hump fat, the hump becomes flabby and decreases in size. Should a camel draws too much fat, the small remaining lump will hang down the camel's side. After a few days' rest and a good feed the hump will return to its normal firm upright state.
Camels have the reputation of being bad-tempered, Unpredictable at best and an obstinate creature that spits and kicks. In reality though, they tend to be good-tempered, patient and intelligent. The bellowing bawling and moaning sounds they make when they have to rise to their feet when carrying a load are like the grunting of a human weight-lifter's, not a 'complaint' at having to do some work.
In advanced Dubai, the rest of UAE and Saudi Arabia, present day desert Arabs are not as dependent on the domesticated camel as they were. These days, camels are valued more as racing animals and kept as sentimental reminders of heritage, not the mainstay of desert transportation. However in many parts of Africa and Asia today, camels are still a beast of burden; transporting people, pulling ploughs, turning waterwheels and carrying goods to market along desert and mountain routes unpassable by even 4 wheel drive vehicles. Known as 'Ata Allah', 'God's gift', the Arabian camel has made an interesting partner to the people and history of desert lands. Camels do not pant, and they perspire very little. Unique among mammals, the camel has a unique body thermostat, its body temperature level can be as much as 60°C before perspiring, conserving body fluids and avoiding water loss. Because a camel's body temperature is often lower than the ambient air temperature, a group of resting camels will lean against each other keeping the warmer air away from their bodies.
Here are a few more facts about the Arabian camel,