Temporal range: Pliocene–Recent[1]
A one-humped camel
(Camelus dromedarius)
A shaggy two-humped camel
Bactrian camel
(Camelus bactrianus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Camelidae
Tribe: Camelini
Genus: Camelus
Linnaeus, 1758

Camelus bactrianus
Camelus dromedarius
Camelus ferus
Camelus gigas (fossil)[2]
Camelus grattardi (fossil)[3]
Camelus knoblochi (fossil)[4]
Camelus moreli (fossil)
Camelus sivalensis (fossil)[5]
Camelus thomasi (fossil)[6]


A camel is an even-toed ungulate in the genus Camelus that bears distinctive fatty deposits known as "humps" on its back. Camels have long been domesticated and, as livestock, they provide food (milk and meat) and textiles (fiber and felt from hair). Camels are working animals especially suited to their desert habitat and are a vital means of transport for passengers and cargo. There are three surviving species of camel. The one-humped dromedary makes up 94% of the world's camel population, and the two-humped Bactrian camel makes up 6%. The Wild Bactrian camel is a separate species and is now critically endangered.

The word camel is also used informally in a wider sense, where the more correct term is "camelid", to include all seven species of the family Camelidae: the true camels (the above three species), along with the "New World" camelids: the llama, the alpaca, the guanaco, and the vicuña.[7] The word itself is derived via Latin: camelus and Greek: κάμηλος (kamēlos) from Hebrew, Arabic or Phoenician: gāmāl.[8][9]

  1. ^ "Fossilworks: Camelus".
  2. ^ "Camelus gigas". ZipcodeZoo. BayScience Foundation, Inc. Archived from the original on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  3. ^ Geraads, D.; Barr, W. A.; Reed, D.; Laurin, M.; Alemseged, Z. (2019). "New Remains of Camelus grattardi (Mammalia, Camelidae) from the Plio-Pleistocene of Ethiopia and the Phylogeny of the Genus" (PDF). Journal of Mammalian Evolution. doi:10.1007/s10914-019-09489-2. S2CID 209331892.
  4. ^ Titov, V. V. (2008). "Habitat conditions for Camelus knoblochi and factors in its extinction". Quaternary International. 179 (1): 120–125. Bibcode:2008QuInt.179..120T. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2007.10.022.
  5. ^ Falconer, Hugh (1868). Palæontological Memoirs and Notes of the Late Hugh Falconer: Fauna antiqua sivalensis. R. Hardwicke. p. 231.
  6. ^ Martini, P.; Geraads, D. (2019). "Camelus thomasi Pomel, 1893 from the Pleistocene type-locality Tighennif (Algeria). Comparisons with modern Camelus". Geodiversitas. 40 (1): 115–134. doi:10.5252/geodiversitas2018v40a5.
  7. ^ Bornstein, Set (2010). "Important ectoparasites of Alpaca (Vicugna pacos)". Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica. 52 (Suppl 1): S17. doi:10.1186/1751-0147-52-S1-S17. ISSN 1751-0147. PMC 2994293.
  8. ^ "camel". The New Oxford American Dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press, Inc. 2005.
  9. ^ Herper, Douglas. "camel". Online Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2012.