This nOde last updated August 7th, 2005 and is
(2 Manik (Serpent) / 5 Yaxk'in (New Sun) - 67/260 - 22.214.171.124.7)
1. A humped, long-necked ruminant mammal of the genus Camelus, domesticated in Old World desert regions as a beast of burden and as a source of wool, milk, and meat.
2. A device used to raise sunken objects, consisting of a hollow structure that is submerged, attached tightly to the object, and pumped free of water. Also called caisson.
3. Sports. A spin in figure skating that is performed in an arabesque or modified arabesque position.
[Middle English, from Old English and from Anglo-Norman cameil, both from Latin camêlus, from Greek kamêlos, of Semitic origin.]
camel (kàm´el), hoofed ruminant (family Camelidae). The family consists of the true camels of Asia, the wild guanaco and domesticated ALPACA and LLAMA of South America, and the vicuña of South America. The two species of true camel are the single-humped Arabian camel, or dromedary (Camelus dromedarius), a domesticated animal of Arabia and N Africa; and the two-humped Bactrian camel (C. bactrianus) of central Asia. Their humps are storage places for fat. Ranging in color from dirty white to dark brown, camels are well adapted for desert life and can go without water for several days.
A camel is either of the two species of large odd-toed ungulate in the genus Camelus, the Dromedary and the Bactrian Camel. Both are native to the dry and desert areas of Asia and northern Africa. The name camel comes from the Hebrew gamal, "to repay" or "requite", as the camel does the care of its master.
The term camel is also used more broadly, to describe any of the six camel-like creatures in the family Camelidae: the two true camels, and the four South American camelids: Llama, Alpaca, Guanaco and Vicuna.
* Family Camelidae
o Genus Lama: Llama, Alpaca, and Guaaco
o Genus Vicugna: Vicuna
o Genus Camelus
+ Dromedary, Camelus dromedarius
+ Bactrian Camel, Camelus bactrianus
Humans first domesticated camels many thousands of years ago. The Dromedary and the Bactrian Camel are both still used for milk and as beasts of burden—the Dromedary in northern Africa and western Asia; the Bactrian Camel further to the north and east in central Asia.
Although there are almost 13 million Dromedaries alive today, the species is extinct in the wild: all bar a handful are domesticated animals (mostly in Sudan, Somalia, India and nearby countries). There is, however, a substantial feral population of about 200,000 in central Australia, descended from individuals that escaped from captivity in the late 19th century.
The Bactrian Camel once had an enormous range, but is now reduced to an estimated 1.4 million animals, mostly domesticated. It is thought that there are about 1000 wild Bactrian Camels in the Gobi Desert, and small numbers in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and Russia.
Minter aka "Yak" - Owner of Llamasoft
and author of such videogame anomalies
as _Attack Of The Mutant Camels_...he likes strange furry mammals...