Camels are known for their signature hump or humps on their backs. A camel with one hump is called a Dromedarian camel, and a camel with two humps is called a Bactrian camel. Bactrian camels are found in the Gobi desert in Mongolia and China, while Dromedarian camels are located in the deserts of Africa and the Middle East.
Camels are members of the Camelidae family, which includes several other species. Members of this family are large and are characterized by a split down the middle of their lips. Camelidae family members are also herbivores and have three-chambered stomachs.
They have long necks with a head at the end. They also have long legs with padded feet. Camel ancestors were even-toed ungulates, meaning they had hooves and bore their weight on an even number of toes.
Modern-day camels have evolved to no longer have hooves; instead, they have flat, padded feet with two toes. This article will highlight the animals in the same family as camels and other animals that may have similarities.
6 Animals Like Camels
Here’s a list of 6 animals that are similar to camels in some way.
How are Llamas like Camels: Both are members of the Camelidae family, are herbivores, have two toes, and have similar behavior patterns.
Llamas and camels are cousins in the same Camelidae family, which explains their physical similarities. Both mammals have long necks, small heads, and a lip that is split down the middle, and each animal can move each side of those lips independently.
Llamas lack the signature hump of a camel and are significantly smaller, but they share the same long legs and two-toed, flat, padded feet. In addition to physical similarities, llamas and camels are similar in behavior and temperament. Both are very docile and calm animals humans have successfully domesticated.
Camels and llamas have the exceptional ability to survive without water for long periods. Their docile nature made them perfect for domestication. Camels and llamas have been domesticated for centuries and used as pack animals, meaning they carry heavy loads and are also farmed for their meat and wool.
How are Alpacas like Camels: Both are members of the Camelidae family, are herbivores, have two toes, and have been domesticated by humans.
Alpacas look very similar to llamas but are also cousins to the camel. Alpacas and camels are both members of the Camelidae family and are also herbivores like their camel relatives.
You might be surprised to learn that alpacas and camels originated in North America over 45 million years ago. They have since evolved and migrated to their respective areas. Alpacas are now primarily found in Northern Chile, Bolivia, and the Peruvian Andes.
Alpacas also have long legs with padded feet. It may look like an alpaca has hooves, but they have two toes with toenails. The toenail is a leftover from the hooves of their ancient ancestors.
Like camels and llamas, alpacas have been domesticated by humans, used as pack animals, and farmed for meat and wool.
Why Guanacos are like Camels: Both are members of the Camelidae family, have long lashes, are herbivores, and have two toes.
Guanacos live throughout the mountains and plains of South America. These mammals are calm and docile like their camel cousins but are not domesticated. Llamas and alpacas were domesticated from the wild guanaco.
Camels are known to have very long, thick lashes to protect their eyes from wind and debris, and the guanaco shares this feature. Guanacos have large eyes with thick lashes to protect their eyes from dust and dirt in the heavy winds. Like camels, guanacos are herbivores and have flat, padded feet with two toes.
Why Vicuñas are like Camels: Both are members of the Camelidae family, are herbivorous, and have two toes.
The vicuña is the smallest member of the Camelidae family but still has several similarities to its camel cousin. Vicuñas are native to the Andes mountains and spend their lives in high altitudes. They have the same foot structure as their camel relatives, with flat, padded feet and two toes.
Vicuñas are also herbivores. While their wool is highly valued like their Camelide relatives, the vicuña has not been domesticated for wool production.
5. Sand Gazelles
Why Sand Gazelles are like Camels: Both are mammals, live in deserts, and can go long periods without water.
Like camels, sand gazelles inhabit desert regions. Both animals are warm-blooded mammals that give birth to live young and are herbivorous. The main similarity is their exceptional ability to go for long periods without water.
While the camel stores water in its fat reserves, the sand gazelle shrinks its heart and liver, allowing them to breathe less and prevent moisture loss so it can retain water in its system for longer periods.
Why Giraffes are like Camels: Both share a common ancestor, are mammals, have long necks and legs, and can go long periods without water
Giraffes and camels share a common ancestor, but camels evolved in North America, and giraffes evolved in Africa. Unlike camels, giraffes still have hooves, but the hooves are cloven or split in two, similar to a camel’s two toes. Both animals are warm-blooded mammals that give birth to live young.
A giraffe has a significantly longer neck and legs than a camel, but both share these features. A camel has a long neck and long legs; it just isn’t as tall or big as a giraffe.
Giraffes cannot store water like camels, but as long as they are eating vegetation, they can survive for quite a while on the water content of the leaves rather than drinking water directly.
Camels are unique animals with standout features like their signature humps. No other animal is precisely like a camel, but as you can see, some animals have similarities. Camels, alpacas, llamas, guanacos, and vicugna all share a common ancestor.
They migrated to different regions of the world, but all evolved with long legs and flat-padded feet. Their hooves were lost and replaced with two toes. Some of these animals, like llamas and alpacas, share the camel’s docile nature, and others, like the giraffe and sand gazelle, share their ability to go long periods without water.