The one-humped camel.
I’ve not spent much of my time thinking about camels. My knowledge of them is rudimentary; camels roam the deserts, some have two humps and others one. They survive in extreme temperatures. Three wise men rode them, allegedly, when visiting baby Jesus … and that’s about it.
To write this article therefore I had to do a little research and doing so came across some interesting facts, including a story about a controversy of Biblical proportions.
Firstly, the interesting facts:
- One-humped camels also known as the Arabian camels or dromedary are found in the deserts of the Middle East, Africa and Australia. Their two-humped cuzzy bros are known as the Bactrian. I am focusing on the dromedary because it was an image and thought of a one-humper I woke with.
- Contrary to popular belief camels do not store water in their humps. The humps are used as fat reservoirs. Kind of beer bellies located on top which insulate the mammals bodies and provide them with energy during times when food is scarce.
- A dromedary lives up to 40 years of age, can be as tall as two meters, run at speeds of 65 km per hour and weigh up to 600 kilos.
- Generally speaking camels are very peaceful animals. Except for sexually excited males. When mating and competing for females these good ole boys become cantankerous and downright violent and have even been known to attack humans. So, my advice, don’t be getting in the way of a toey camel. After the deed has been done however, the studs have been known to fall onto their sides and lie motionless for a few minutes. Rolling over and falling asleep you might say. Sound familiar?
- These one-humped gigolos can mate up to eight times a day and have a peculiar courtship ritual whereby they foam up around the mouth and puff up and stick out their soft palate called “dulla.” These none too pleasant looking sacks hang out of the mouth to mark the courtship rituals. These desert lover boys also spit and dribble a lot and splash their urine over themselves. It seems the lady camels respond to the boys urine like it were some high-end cologne. Whatever works right?
A dromedary and his dulla
Now for the controversy.
The Daily Mail Australia claims that: Camels prove that the Bible is inaccurate?
Archaeologists reveal mammals were domesticated in 900BC – centuries after Biblical characters rode them.
Archaeologists from the University of Tel Aviv, Israel, found that camels were not domesticated in Israel until the 9th century BC. They claim this shows that Biblical text was compiled long after the events described in it and challenges the Bible as a historical document.
Researchers analysed the oldest known domesticated camel bones, found in the Aravah Valley in the southern Levant, to inform their research.
So what did Abraham, Joseph and Jacob really ride?