Bactrian Camel Facts

The Bactrian camel is a very adaptable creature.

Their natural habitat is in Northern Asia, where they can endure extreme changes in temperature.

These animals can withstand crazy temperatures that can quickly fluctuate between +40°C in summer and -30°C in winter.

In contrast to their Arabian relatives (with a single hump), they have two humps.

It stores fat in the humps that’s converted to water and energy when food isn’t accessible.

Camels have these humps to help them survive in dry desert conditions.

Depletion of fat causes the humps to sag and become flabby.

They can detect water and food with ease, thanks to their excellent sense of hearing and smell.

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Bactrian Camel Facts for Kids

  • They live in Central Asia, Mongolia, and China in deserts with rocky surfaces.
  • In the wild, there are thought to be between 600 and 1,000 left.
  • They can drink salt water without any harmful effects.
  • Females are much smaller than the males.
  • Some Bactrian camels live up to 50 years.
  • It can drink as much as 57 liters in a single go.
  • They can last up to 72 hours without water.
  • Bactrian camels are the only genuinely wild camels left.

What do Bactrian Camels Look Like

Their big eyes have two rows of long lashes and a third eyelid that wipes dirt and sand out.

Their sealable nostrils  can close when threatened with dust and sand

In addition to the leather pads on their feet, two toes help keep their feet from sinking into sand or snow and allows them to carry heavy loads over the most challenging terrain.

Travelers who are crossing the desert can use this kind of animal as a pack animal.

They can grow to almost 7 feet tall, 11 feet long, and weigh 660 to 2200 pounds.

It’s important to understand that Bactrian Camel is a separate species from those Wild Bactrian Camel, species of camel

The Bactrian Camel Coat

They have dark or dirty brown coats and long hair exclusive to Bactrian camels

On the head, neck, forelegs, the coat is thicker and heavier.

Bactrian camels’ heavy coats need to shed when the seasons change because of the drastic temperature differences.

They don’t sweat a lot, despite the heat allowing them to conserve fluids for extended periods of time. A 6 degree Celsius increase in internal temperature can prevent them from sweating and lose water.

Baby Bactrian Camels

A baby Bactrian camel is called a calf

Males are called  bull calves

They reach adulthood when they are about 30 months of age.

At birth, the average birth weight is about 79 pounds, and they don’t have humps at this stage. 

The babies walk within hours of being born. Babies spend three to four years with their mothers.

Siblings tend to help with new babies when they arrive. The mother and her offspring have a strong bond.


Their mating season is from autumn to spring.

Rutting seasons usually last three months.

Throughout the mating season, males usually fight, spit, snort, and scare other males away.

A mother camel finds a spot to have her baby after 12 to 14 months of gestation.

Females are often protected and defended by the dominant male from wandering bachelor camels.

Bactrian camel Herd Behavior

They are social creatures, no doubt about that.

Herds often cross paths, thereby forming a larger head

But alpha males in each herd protect and defend females in the herd from bachelors.

Researchers discovered that camels tend to use an area of about 50-150 square kilometers throughout their temporary home range in addition to an area of several thousand square kilometers throughout the entire year.

These animals will tend to congregate around areas that’s linked to the availability of water. During the summer months, water is obtainable from springs and, during the winter, they get water in the form of snow.

Despite being able to go without water for months on end, they may drink up to 57 liters of when its available.

In the Army

The Indian Army patrols in Ladakh are using these camels for moving equipment. The conditions in the mountains are most suited to the double-humped camel.

The strong animals can carry tons of weight up to 17,000 feet (5200 m), which is more than ponies which they are already using.

What do Bactrian camels eat?

Their diet consists of plants (herbivores).

It will eat almost any type of plant, including bitter, dry, or thorny plants.

In extreme situations, they have been known to gorge themselves on dead carcasses, clothes, and even sneakers.

A camel can consume 30 gallons of water in 13-15 minutes.

What are Bactrian Camel predators?

The one natural predator they have is the grey wolf. I guess we can also add humans into this answer also.

These camels were hunted for their meat and hides in the 1800s.

Unfortunately, by the 1920s, the Bactrian population had considerably declined, and government officials introduced poaching restrictions on the camels. However, illegal hunting persists.

Camel territory has been increasingly encroached upon by humans, causing more problems for the declining population. 

If they get too close to livestock, some farmers shoot them.

Other Fun Facts About Bactrian Camels

There are two different types of camels: the single-humped dromedary camel and the Bactrian with two humps.

They can run up to 40 miles per hour and swim very well.

They have the ability to detect scents from 2 miles away