One of the camels’ most distinctive features is their humps, which enable them to survive for long periods of time without sustenance or hydration.
We’ve all seen camels with one or two humps, but what about three humps?
Today, three species of camels exist: the dromedary or Arabian camel with one hump, the wild Bactrian camel, and the domesticated Bactrian camel, both with two humps. Camels cannot have three humps, but a Guinness Book of World Records award from 1970 went to a genetically unique dromedary camel with four humps. No four-humped camels have been reported since.
Continue reading to learn more about one-humped and two-humped camels.
We’ll also discuss and debunk a fascinating article that claimed a three-humped camel species was discovered, and we’ll talk about the Guinness World Record award that went to a four-humped camel.
Dromedary Camels: One Hump
Dromedary camels, also called Arabian camels, have one hump that can store as much as 80 pounds of fat bound with fibrous tissue. It’s often assumed that a camel’s hump stores water, but this is a widespread misconception.
Dromedaries can break the fat from their humps down into water and energy when food isn’t readily available in their environment.
A dromedary’s single hump allows it to travel up to 100 miles across the desert without drinking water. Depending on the camel’s nutritional status, the hump may become smaller and even lean to one side if the camel is beginning to starve.
Today, around 90% of the world’s camel population is made up of dromedary camels, and all dromedaries are domesticated.
Bactrian Camels: Two Humps
Bactrian camels have two humps, and they are the only wild camels left on the planet. Less than 400 of them exist, and they’re considered to be critically endangered.
There are also domesticated Bactrian camels, which are considered a separate species.
Like dromedary or Arabian camels, Bactrian camels store fat in their humps that can be converted to a hydration and energy source when they’re far from sustenance.
However, in comparison to dromedaries, Bactrian camels are heavier and shorter.
Tribocus Camelus: Three-Humped Camel Or April Fool’s Joke?
A publication called Kawa News released an article in 2019 stating that a new species of camel with three humps had just been discovered. The article referred to this new species, purportedly found in the deserts of Oman, as “Tribocus Camelus.”
Kawa News provided a photo of a three-humped camel and quoted one expert who stated that this new species may have developed as a result of global warming.
Another expert noted that ancient cave paintings had depicted three-humped camels and theorized that this species had managed to survive without being discovered up until 2019.
However, additional research reveals that this article looks to be completely fabricated.
The photo of the three-humped camel appears to be an edited version of a stock photo of a dromedary camel, and the experts quoted do not seem to exist anywhere else on the internet.
Perhaps most convincing of all, the article was published on April 1, also known as April Fool’s Day, and the article concluded by wishing the readers a happy April Fool’s Day.
No other sources report that a three-humped camel exists, so it is safe to say that this article was simply a joke and did not share a credible discovery.
Guinness World Record-Winning Four-Humped Camel
Although three-humped camels do not exist, the Guinness Book of World Records awarded “Camel with the Most Humps” to a dromedary camel with four fully-formed humps over 50 years ago in 1970.
This camel seems to be a genetic anomaly because no four-humped camels have been reported before or since.
Three species of camels exist today. First is the Arabian or dromedary camel, which has a single hump. Second is the wild Bactrian camel, which is critically endangered and has two humps. Finally, the domesticated Bactrian camel also has two humps.
A news article from 2019 claimed that a new three-humped species of camel had been discovered, but this article was revealed to be an April Fool’s joke, rather than a legitimate discovery.
In 1970, a four-humped camel won the Guinness World Record for “Camel with the Most Humps.” However, no four-humped camels have been reported before or since, so this camel looks to be a unique genetic anomaly.
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