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Transporter from an Ancient Time

The Bactrian Camel (Camelus Bactrianus, Camelus ferus)

The Bactrian camel is a large even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of central Asia. It is presently restricted in the wild to remote regions of Central Asia and sprinkled all over the ancient Silk Route from erstwhile Persia across parts of Baltistan and Ladakh all the way into Tibet. It is one of the two surviving species of camel. The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back, in contrast to the single-humped Dromedary camel. Nearly all of the estimated 1.4 million Bactrian camels alive today are domesticated. In October 2002, the estimated 800 remaining in the wild in northwest China and Mongolia were classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Bactrian camels are extremely adept at withstanding wide variations in temperature - from freezing cold to blistering heat. They have a remarkable ability to go without water for months at a time, but when water is available they may drink up to 57 liters at once. When well fed, the humps are plump and erect, but as resources decline the humps shrink and lean to the side. Speeds of up to 65 kmph / 40 mph have been recorded under extreme pressure. As pack animals, these ungulates are virtually unsurpassed, able to carry 170-270 kg / 375-600 lbs at a rate of 47 km per day, or 4 kmph over a period of four days. Bactrian camels are said to be good swimmers. Their sense of sight and smell are said to be extremely good.

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