BIODIVERSITY HERITAGE LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BIODIVERSITY HERITAGE LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of Central Asia. Of the two species of camel, it is by far the rarer. The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back, in contrast to the single-humped dromedary camel. The domesticated Bactrian camel has served as a pack animal in inner Asia since ancient times. With its tolerance for cold, drought, and high altitudes, it enabled travel such as the caravans of the Silk Road. The Bactrian camel is the largest mammal in its native range and rivals the dromedary as the largest living camel. These camels are migratory, and their habitat ranges from rocky mountain massifs to flat arid desert, stony plains, and sand dunes. They are primarily herbivorous. They are able to eat plants that are dry, prickly, salty and/or bitter, and can ingest virtually any kind of vegetation. When other nutrient sources are not available, these camels may feed on carcasses, gnawing on.
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