National Animal of Eritrea

National Animal of Eritrea

The national animal of Eritrea is the Arabian camel. These camels are also known as dromedaries and they have only one hump. Eritrea’s national animal is one-hoofed and is mostly found in hot deserts. They effectively use their one hump where they can store up to 800 pounds of fat. These camels then break the fats into water and energy when food and water becomes scarce. They are social animals, where the flock comprises females and their young ones and are led by a single dominant male camel. During mating, the national animal of Eritrea jealously protects its female from other male camels.

Arabian camels are domestic animals found in desert and other rocky regions of Northern Africa, Middle East, Asia as well as India. In these regions, they are domesticated mainly for transport and also to provide food to the residents. There are approximately 1.6m Arabian camels in different homesteads in Eritrea (Dairy production and products-Camels).

Facts about the National Animal of Eritrea (Arabian camel)

  • Common name: Arabian camel
  • Scientific name: Camelus dromedarius
  • Average weight: 300-690kgs
  • Average length: 2.2-3.5m
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Speed: 40km/h
  • Main predators: lions, leopards and human beings
  • Habitat: arid desert and scrub land
  • Life expectancy: 40-50 years
  • Gestation period: 390-410 days
  • Skin type: hair

As an adaptive feature, the national animal of Eritrea has a brown skin to help minimize sweating. Actually, it is believed that Arabian camels do not sweat at all, and this explains why they can store water in their hump for a period of up to 10 months. They are one-hoofed to help the animal not to sink into the desert sands. The Arabian camels have been majorly used as transport animals in the desert, and sometimes are slaughtered to provide food. The transport function has led to the camel being recognized as the national animal symbol of Eritrea.

In Eritrea, domestication of Arabian camels is so widespread. At least each homestead prides itself for having a camel, and this has made it to be considered the national symbol of Eritrea.

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