World Camel Day – June 22

wild camel close up of face

World Camel Day is June 22, a day that was first celebrated in 2009. During this time of Climate Change, the Camel is one of the most adaptive animals in the world. It can go days without food and water. Camels have been used for thousands of years in Africa and Asia. In the United States, the Camel Corps (1836) was a program by the United States to use Camels in the Southwest.

Of the world’s camel population, 94% is the one-humped dromedary and the two-humped Bactrian camel makes up 6%. Camels are part of the camelid family, along with llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas. Camels feed on foliage and desert vegetation; several adaptations, such as the ability to tolerate losing more than 30% of its total water content, allow it to thrive in its desert habitat.

Camels have excellent vision. They are known for having exceptional night vision as well. Camels can see things in low light that humans cannot and have a range of up to 25 miles (40 km). The camel’s pupil shape and position give these animals a panoramic visual range covering 320 to 340 degrees. The human eye by comparison only covers about 180 degrees. Camels can see pretty much all around themselves without having to move, and they can see better at night than we can.

One of the most interesting facts about camels’ eyes is they possess three eyelids, one of which is a translucent layer that acts as a nictitating membrane, covering the eye completely but still allowing them to see as they navigate the harsh conditions and sand storms of the desert.

Camels have long eyelashes as well, a protective adaptation to their environment and lifestyle. These long eyelashes help to keep sand, dust, and other debris out of their eyes as they traverse through arid and dusty desert environments. Unlike human eyelashes, camel eyelashes are almost parallel to their eyes and angle downward. On average, a camel’s eyelashes can grow up to 2 inches in length. The length and thickness of the upper eyelashes are more pronounced compared to the lower eyelashes.

NW77th Eyewear - The Optical Journal

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