Camels are even-toed ungulates within the genus Camelus. The dromedary, one-humped or Arabin camel has a single hump and is well known for its healthy low far milk, and the Bactrian camel has two humps. They are native to the dry desert areas of western Asia, and central and east Asia, respectively.

The term camel is also used more broadly to describe any of the six camel like creatures in the family Camelidae: the two true camels, and the four South American camelids, the llama, alpaca, guanaco, and vicuna.

The average life expectancy of a camel is 40 to 50 years. A fully grown adult camel stands 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) at the shoulder and 2.15 m (7 ft 1 in) at the hump. The hump rises about 30 inches (75 cm) out of its body. Camels can run up to 65 km/h (40 mph) in short bursts and sustain speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph).

Fossil evidence indicates that the ancestors of modern camels evolved in Noth America during the Palaeogene period, and later spread to most parts of Asia. Humans first domesticated camels before 2000 BC. The dromedary and the Bactrian camel are both still used for milk, meat, and as beasts of burden—the dromedary in western Asia and in Africa north of the sub-Saharan savannahs, and the Bactrian camel further to the north and east in central Asia.


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