Dromedary head.
Dromedary head.


The dromedary is the other species of camel beside the Bactrian camel mentioned earlier on this blog.


Dromedary or Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius), Toronto Zoo.

Unlike the Bactrian camel, the dromedary has only one hump. The dromedary is a domestic animal used throughout the Arab world as a beast of burden, for riding, for its meat, for its milk and for its hair.
I took these pictures in the Toronto Zoo in the area where they offer camel rides for children, or adults who behave like children. While the other dromedary was on duty this one was waiting in a pen.

Camel ride sign in the Toronto Zoo.

Until the invention of modern motorized vehicles riding a camel was really the most reliable — if not the only — way to travel any significant distance in a desert. As it might be obvious from the sign most people do not immediately distinguish the dromedary and the Bactrian camel (the camel ride sign above shows two humped beasts yet the rides were offered on a one humped dromedary) but they belong to different geographical range. The dromedary is used in India, the Middle East and North Africa while the Bactrian camel belongs to Central Asia.

Dromedary camels.

Otherwise most of the generic description about camels in the Bactrian camel post applies to the dromedary as well.

This summer there were a large number of reports in the media about a coronavirus infection jumping from dromedary camels to humans causing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Further Readings:

Dromedary on Wikipedia.
Arabian (Dromedary) Camel Camelus dromedarius on the National Geographic website.
Camelus dromedarius dromedary on Animal Diversity Web.
Camels and dromedaries.

On the recent MERS virus scare:
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
MERS Coronavirus in Dromedary Camel Herd, Saudi Arabia.
MERS Coronaviruses in Dromedary Camels, Egypt.

Last updated: October 10, 2014

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