Facts About Camels: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Come learn about camels! This lesson will teach you about camels, where they live, and what they eat. You will also learn some cool facts about these animals and what makes them unique, like their humps.

What Is a Camel?

Imagine walking through the middle of a blinding dust storm. Blowing sand stings your eyes and your feet sink into the soft sand, making it hard to move forward. You're very thirsty, but there is no water for miles. If you were a camel, this would be no problem!

A camel is a large animal with a long neck and one or two humps on its back, and they're designed to survive in extreme desert conditions. These animals come in many shades of brown, from cream-colored to dark brown, and a camel can be over 7 feet tall at its hump!

More About Camel Humps

There are two basic of camels: one-humped camels are called dromedaries (pronounced DROM-uh-dare-ees), while two-humped camels are called bactrians (pronounced BACK-tree-uns). An easy way to remember this is with the first letter of each word: Dromedary starts with a D, which has one hump. Bactrian starts with a B, which has two humps.

Dromedary camels have one hump.

Those humps are like the camel's picnic baskets! The humps store fat that can be broken down into energy and water. That allows camels to go without water for over a week and without food for several months.

Bactrian camels have two humps.

Where Do Camels Live?

Camels can usually be found in the desert, where the dry conditions make their humps very useful to survival. Bactrian camels live in rocky deserts on the continent of Asia. Dromedary camels live in the sandy deserts of northeastern Africa and the Middle East. There are also some camels in Australia. Camels like to be around other camels, which is why they live in groups. (They even say hello to each other by blowing in each other's faces--it's like a camel handshake!)

Surviving in the desert is hard. That's why camels have thick fur that protects them from the heat during the day and keeps them warm at night. Like some dogs, they shed their thick coat when the temperatures get warmer. Camel feet have thick padding that protects their feet from the hot, rocky sands. They have extra, clear eyelids and long, bushy eyelashes that keep sand out of their eyes, and camels can even close their nostrils to keep sand out.

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