Yesterday’s Camel

TwilightBeasts

Camels are weird. I think we like them because their curmudgeonly reputation reminds us of someone we know (or ourselves!). Easy to recognise and totally unlike any other mammal, the “ship of the desert” is always included in Noah’s ark toys and first dictionaries. Budding zoologists may even realise that there are two different species of proper camel; the Bactrian (Camelus bactrianus), with two humps and the Dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) with one. I always remember which is which by looking at the first letter. A capital B has two humps, and a capital D has one!

The more astute amongst you may know that this is actually less than half the story. There are other camels. In fact, these other camels represent the greatest diversity of the surviving camel family. South American llamas (Lama glama), alpacas (Vicugna pacos), guanacos (Lama guanicoe

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