Main page content begins here

Bactrian camel

Scientific Name: Camelus bactrianus

Habitat: stony desert, steppe grasslands

Diet: grasses, leaves, shrubs; also thorn, salt bush

Life span: 40-50 years

Young: 1 young

Size: 600-1,000 kg (1,320 – 2,200 lbs)

The 2 humps of the Bactrian camel store fat, not water. The fat is used as food during times when there is little to eat. Camels conserve body water in unique ways. They raise their body temperature when it is hot so they will not sweat. Little water is released through urine and feces. When a camel has gone several days without water, it may drink up to 120 litres (28 gallons) at a time.

To keep out blowing sand and dust, these camels have a special transparent (see-through) eyelid. The long lashes also help to keep the sand out of their eyes. The two broad toes on each foot have undivided soles that are able to spread widely. This allows the Bactrian camel to travel easily on shifting sand or on rocky outcrops. The upper lip is split for grabbing leaves and bark from trees.

Learn more about this species:

These are some other websites that we think have more great information about this species.

Bactrian camel on Animal Diversity Web


Range: steppes and deserts in Asia

Status in the Wild

Status: endangered

For More Information

Edmonton Valley Zoo

13315 Buena Vista Road (87th Avenue)
PO Box 2359
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2R7


End of page content. Please choose between the following five options:

Back to main menu Back to current page menu and content View current page breadcrumb Back to site search Continue to page footer content