Camels are a genus of mammals in the Camelidae family whose origin dates back 40 million years. These giant camelids, larger than elephants, migrated to Eurasia and Africa thanks to the glaciations and were the ancestors of today’s camels and dromedaries.
The Arabian camel is the most abundant today and appeared only 6,000 years ago.
Camels are mammals known for their distinctive humpback backs. Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus ) have two humps, while dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius ) have one.
The humps of these creatures store fatty deposits which they use for food when external sources of food and water are scarce. Their ability to metabolize food stored for long periods of time makes them good pack animals.
Camels are generally between 6 and 7 feet in height and 9 to 11 feet in length. They can weigh up to 2,300 pounds. Other physical characteristics of camels include long legs, a long neck, and a protruding muzzle with large lips.
Camels are characteristic ruminants for their hump traditionally used as cargo and to transport people on trips through arid areas due to their great resistance to dry weather. They can go up to 10 days without drinking water.
In all the stages of development, Camel tongues are elongated, with flat surfaces and rounded apically. The camel tongue belongs to the type I (intra-oral) tongue in domestic animals.
The size of the adult dromedary tongue is observed to be relatively smaller than its whole body size.
Although the dromedary Camel is a pseudo-ruminant, its tongue showed resemblance to those of ruminants; its tongue showed high degree of flexibility and its Torus linguae was well furnished with five large diameter circumvallate papillae along its entire surface typical of ruminants
The tongue is a muscular organ with strong and definite movements. It has free parts (apex and body) and an attached part (the root). It is an important organ in the animal’s body.
It is a renowned organ of taste owing to its component taste buds, it plays unique role in prehension, lapping, grooming and manipulation of food in the mouth.
Male camels have an organ called a doula on their neck, which is a large inflatable sac that protrudes from their mouth when in heat, to enforce dominance and attract females. It looks like a long, pink, swollen tongue sticking out of the side of its mouth.
Sexual behavior is also characterized by the exteriorization of the soft palate, known as doula, although this has only been described in dromedaries and not in Bactrian camels.
Soft palate protrusion occurs throughout the day at 15 – 30 minute intervals and is accompanied by loud chirping and roaring sounds.
Protrusions become more frequent with increased excitement such as occurs in the presence of other males and females.
During copulation, the ejection of the soft palate can be replaced by grinding of the teeth and a foaming of saliva in the mouth. This frothing is generally attributed to increased secretion of the salivary glands and the frequent exteriorization of the soft palate.