This lovely small (but dense, 232-page) book is like the Bible of camels. It ranges from the scientific to the historical. Everything anyone needs to know about the animal with amazing photographs, an index, and plenty of footnotes. Apart from the physiological and functional details it seems that Irwin has found about every literary reference ever made to this great beast.
Plus: How to buy, keep, and care for a camel? All here. Saddles, riding, traditions of different cultures, myths, adventures, military camels, racing camels, poetry, myriad illustrations — all here too.
|15th century drawing of a camel|
A few fundamental nuggets ...
* the camel is a natural pacer, as opposed to a trotter
* a dromedary can comfortably carry a load of six hundred pounds; a bactrian can take more like one thousand pounds
* ceramic camel figures were long popular in China as a sign of prosperity in furnishing graves
* camel milk (enjoying new popularity among the health-conscious) has no cream
* While filming Lawrence of Arabia, his well-trained camel saved Peter O'Toole's life
|16th century gouache miniature from Uzbekhistan|
I wonder how Canadian immigration would view importing a pet? They have no category for camels. Oh wait. "Family Camelidae," along with cattle and other large animals, are not considered pets. Importing a camel into Canada is only allowed from the U.S.A. and requires an import fee, a veterinarian's certificate, passing all the tests for brucellosis and tuberculosis, and a host of other pre-import conditions.
There. Now I know that.
© 2017 Brenda Dougall Merriman