Camels Research Paper

This sample Camels Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services.

Adaptations to arid environments have made the camel an important draft animal, pack animal, and military mount in the dry regions of northern Africa and Central Asia. As the camel could carry humans across areas where no other domestic animal could, it made possible cultural, economic, and ecological exchange between otherwise separated societies.

The camel has played an important role in the environmental history of Africa and Eurasia since its domestication. Superbly adapted to arid environments, the camel has allowed human beings to negotiate the deserts and mountains of northern Africa and Central Asia, and in this sense the camel has been instrumental both in connecting the African societies and ecologies immediately to the south of the Sahara with the intercommunicating zone around the Mediterranean and in linking societies and ecologies across the southern axis of Eurasia itself, from the Mediterranean to China. Along with the horse, cow, donkey, and yak, it is one of the few domesticated animals that is large enough to carry an adult human.

There are two species of camels, the dromedary, or Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius), which has a single hump, and the Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), which has two. The domestication of the dromedary in Arabia sometime around 1200 BCE allowed it to replace the ass in desert transport, strengthened the hand of desert-edge communities around the Arabian peninsula, and launched the career of Bedouin culture. It likely strengthened the states of the desert fringe and may possibly have played a role in the decline of the riverine civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia. In North Africa during the course of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries CE, the use of the dromedary as a draft animal largely replaced a system of haulage in horse- or ox-drawn carts. The economics of camel transport encouraged Muslim societies in both North Africa and the Middle East to reduce and finally abandon their commitment to carted vehicles and to roads.

The Bactrian camel, which has been less intensively researched than the dromedary, was domesticated in southwest Asia before 2500 BCE and spread to Iraq, India, Central Asia and into China. Like the dromedary, the Bactrian camel could be used as draft animal as well as a pack animal and a military mount. The Bactrian camel, however, was not as large or fast as the dromedary, and over time its range diminished. In Central Asia during the second half of the second century BCE, a hybrid camel produced from the interbreeding of the dromedary and the Bactrian took over the role once held by the Bactrian. The pure Bactrians were retained as stud animals.

The economic advantages of the camel over other beasts of burden in arid lands are several. It can consume vegetation that other mammals avoid, thanks to its rapid and frequent digestive cycle that efficiently breaks down dry matter and fiber, cellulose, and crude protein. The camel can go without water for longer than any other working animal and is able to survive extreme desiccation, up to the loss of forty percent of body weight in a lean animal. The amount of time that a camel can continue without water is a function of many variables, including temperature, age of the camel, and weight of the freight burden, among others. On occasion, fully loaded camels have been able to push through desert terrain for more than ten days without water.

Today, camels are principally found in a broad band that stretches east through the North Africa, the Sahara, and the African grasslands just below the Sahara through Turkey and the Middle East to the western half of India. Within this zone, camels are considered to be extremely important to the nomadic livestock economies of Somalia, Mauritania, and the Western Sahara and to be of major importance in Tunisia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Niger, and Chad. Camels have adapted themselves to a variety of different environments, and specialists today distinguish between the physical characteristics of lowland, mountain, riverine, and desert camels.


  1. Beebe, H. K. (1990). The dromedary revolution (Occasional Papers No. 18). Claremont, CA: Claremont Graduate School, Institute for Antiquity and Christianity.
  2. Bulliet, R. W. (1975). The camel and the wheel. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  3. Gauthier-Pilters, H., & Dagg, A. I. (1981). The camel: Its evolution, ecology, behavior, and relationship to Man. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  4. Wilson, R.T. (1984). The camel. London: Longman Publishing Co.

See also:

Free research papers are not written to satisfy your specific instructions. You can use our professional writing services to buy a custom research paper on any topic and get your high quality paper at affordable price.


Always on-time


100% Confidentiality
Special offer! Get discount 10% for the first order. Promo code: cd1a428655