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Camela are ungulate mammals native to dry and desert areas of Asia. There are two species, both of family Camelidae:

  • The Bactrian Camel (C. bactrianus)
  • The Dromedary or Arabian Camel (Camelus dromedarius)

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Both species are ruminants without horns, without muzzle, with nostrils forming oblique slits, the upper lip divided and separately movable and extensile, the soles of the feet horny, with two toes covered by claws, the limbs long, the abdomen drawn up, while the neck, long and slender, is bent up and down, the reverse of that of a horse, which is arched.

The Bactrian Camel is distinguished by two humps. It is native to Central Asia, and is an endangered species. The Dromedary (from the Greek dromos) has one hump, and is native to Western Asia and Africa. Still very common as a domesticated animal, it too does not survive as a wild animal in its native range, although there is a substantial feral population of about 200,000 in central Australia, descended from individuals that escaped from captivity in the late 19th century.

The camel was early used as a means of animal-powered transport both for riding and as a beast of burden. Camels were much in use for transport among nations in the East.

Both camels are related to the llama and alpaca.

The name camel comes from the Hebrew gamal, "to repay" or "requite", as the camel does the care of its master.

The Arabian camel stands an average of 2 metres (7 feet) tall, and the hump rises another 30cm (twelve inches) about that.

Initial text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897 -- Please update as needed

Other meanings for the term "Camel":

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