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How many humps does a camel have?

Last Reviewed and Updated on June 12, 2022

If you are asking yourself how many humps a camel has, you might be surprised to learn that the answer to your question depends on the species of the camel.

And it gets a little bit more complicated than that as well.

The Different Types of Camels

There are three surviving species of camels, the dromedary camel and two species of Bactrian camels.

The dromedary camels are the most common, they make up about 94% of the camel population of the world.

Bactrian and the critically endangered Wild Bactrian camels make up the rest.

Read: facts about camels

Dromedary camels have 1 hump

The dromedary camel (Arabian camel, one-humped camel) is a species of camel that has one hump. It’s the largest of the camel species and the most numerous.

This species can be mainly found in Africa, Asia, and with feral populations in Australia.

Bactrian camels have 2 humps

The Bactrian camel (Mongolian camel, domestic Bactrian camel) and The Wild Bactrian camel, two closely related species have two humps.

This species can be found in Asia.

One and a half hump? Kind of, yes

As a general rule, camels have either one hump or two humps, depending on the species they belong to.

But humans like to experiment with hybrids so it comes as no surprise, that breeding Dromedary camels with Bactrian camels are a thing. This is also something that probably occurred in nature as well when these species would come in contact (today they live too far apart).

Unlike horse and donkey hybrids, the offspring of different species of camels are often fertile, so they can be bread through generations.

The offspring of hybrids can have humps can for example have one large hump with two crests, or one large hump and one small one.

Can camels have 3 humps?

Can animals have two heads? You might ask, why do we ask a question to give you the answer? And you might be inclined to answer no, they can’t have two heads, but yet this kind of birth happens, albeit rarely.

To date, there have been no records of a camel that would have 3 humps. But the birth of a camel with 3 humps isn/t something that can’t happen. It would be an exception though, and something extremely rare, unique even.

How about a camel with 4 humps?

So there have been no cases of camels with 3 humps… Why would we even go higher than that?

Well, because there was a camel that had 4 distinct fully formed humps. This Bactrian camel was documented in 1970 by a German zoologist (Dr. Bernhard Grzimek), and this particular camel holds the Guinness book record for a camel with the most humps.

So, how many humps does a camel have?

Camels have one or two humps, depending on the species, with possible exceptions.

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