Dromedary camel and its adaptation mechanisms to desert environment: A review
Haben Fesseha, Wondwossen Desta
Camel is a multi-purpose animal that is the only source of food and transport for people in arid and semiarid areas and used for centuries in different parts of the world especially in Asia and Africa. Camels including Dromedary camels are desert animals that can withstand harsh environmental conditions by different adaption mechanisms that help them to survive successfully in dry and arid climates where there is a shortage of water and high environmental temperature. For survival in the desert environment, camels have physiological, anatomical and behavioural adaptation mechanisms. Water conservation ability, the unique features of blood, thermoregulation, and efficient digestion and metabolism are among the physiological adaptations. Anatomically the nature of skin coat, eye, ear, hump, poll gland, nostril and lips, large body size and long height and large foot pads contribute to their survival. Moreover, the feeding, drinking, thermal and sexual behaviour of camels also plays a major role in succeeding in their existence in the desert environment. Despite their great contribution to the livelihood of many pastoralists in different parts of the world in which other animals face difficulties, camels are the most neglected domestic animals by the scientific community.