The Dromedary or Arabian Camel
(camelus dromedarius)

The Arabian camel is the iconic animal of Jordan. It is perfectly adapted to the desert conditions due to several particularities that other animals do not have. It has a difficult temper, pride and resentful. It possesses an exceptional memory. Its philosophical appearance is misleading: a camel can remember after more ...

...than 30 years if somebody mistreated him and would it find him again, it will try to kill him. A rutting male (January – February) is a dangerous animal. Only the owner can approach it during this period. Anybody else would risk his life. Moreover, not all the camels are ready to accept the contact from strangers. Indeed, be careful and always ask the green light from the owner before approaching a dromedary.

Here are some features that allow the Dromedary to survive in desert environments:

- The dromedary is a digitigrade, it means that it walks on its fingers and not on its nails like the horse. Its broad, elastic feet, without clogs, allow it to walk in the fine sand without sinking. However, the camel will not be comfortable in rough terrain.

- It has a horn pad at the places that will be in contact with the ground (under the sternum and on the limbs) when laying down. This kind of cushion prevents the body from resting completely on a hot ground and reduces the body's exposure to the heat.

- Its hump is not a reserve of water, but a reserve of energy in adipose form. The complex metabolism of the Dromedary transforms fat into liquid when necessary. Its hump also acts as a thermo-regulator by concentrating fat reserves on the back, rather than on the whole body, which allows body heat to dissipate more easily.

- To provision its water needs, the Dromedary is able to absorb 200 liters of water in a few minutes.

- Its body regulates its internal temperature according to the external temperature. Its body temperature can increase from 34 degrees to 42 degrees without inconvenient, what no mammal can do. This thermal adaptation saves resources.

- Its sweat glands are very few and differently distributed in its body than in other mammals bodies, which allows minimal perspiration.

- Its deep and ample sinuses hold moisture when exhaling.

- Its long, double-lined eyelashes protect its eyes from dust.

- The dromedary also has insensitive lips, which allows it grazing thorns (acacia for example) that no other mammal can eat.

What the Bedouins use to say about the dromedaries, commonly called camels : 

The camel is a haughty and sensitive animal at the same time. They are subject only to the use of a stick to educate them. Some individuals cannot be used as mounts. A horny male is dangerous and can kill people who approach him, except his owner. To kill a man, the camel will first hit him down by throwing his front paws on him. He will then lie on top of him and bruise him until death.