Die Woestyn Dromedaris, the Desert Dromedary

Die Woestyn Dromedaris or the Desert Dromedary is the first installment in a series of posts about babadiertjies van Afrika, animal cubs from Africa.

Die Woestyn Dromedaris, babadiertjies van Afrika

Die dromedaris woon al vir langer as ses duisend jaar in die Sahara-woestyn. Anders as die kameel wat twee bulte op sy rug het, het hy net een groot ou boggel. Hierdie boggel word met reg sy ‘spens’ genoem. Met net ‘n klein bietjie water en baie min kos, kan hierdie diere baie lank in die woestyn aan die lewe bly. Daroom is hulle sulke nuttige pakdiere om in die droë woestynwêreld lang togte mee af te lê. Geen wonder dan ook dat hierdie dier die ‘skip’ van die woestyn genoem word nie.

Met sy fyn reukvermoë, kan die dromedaris van baie ver af water ruik, of dit nou by ‘n verafgelseë oase of selfs onder die sand is! Ook het hy ‘n baie skerp ontwikkelde instink wat hom help om koers te hou, al het sandstorms ook alle spore uitgewis.

Die Woestyn Dromedaris, the Desert Dromedary, babadiertjies van Afrika
(Image Wolfgang Hasselmann, Unsplash)

By geboorte is die klein dromedaris bedek met ‘n pragtige wollerige vag. Geleidelik verloor hy egter hierdie wollerigheid en daar bly uiteindelik net so ‘n klossie daarvan op sy groot ou boggel oor. Alhoewel dit seker nie ‘n vreeslike mooi versiering is nie, bied dit darem aan die dromedaris ‘n mate van beskerming teen die moordende strale van die woestynson.

Die dromedariskalfie drink ‘n volle jaar lank aan sy ma. Dit maak sy verhemelte taai genoeg om die droë woestynstruike te kan vreet. Gedurende hierdie tyd ontwikkel sy herkoutjiemaag ook heeltemal. Hierdie magie van hom bestaan uit vier kompartemente: in die eerste drie word die kos gedeeltelik verteer, om dan eindelik in die vierde gedeelte opgeneem te word. Hierdie laaste kompartement word die melkpens genoem.

Die dromedaris het lang, sierlike wimpers wat beskutting aan sy oë bied wanneer sandstorms woed.

Dit is ‘n bekende feit dat die dromedaris tot sestien kilometer per uur kan aflê. Soms lê hulle tot agt honderd kilometer in minder as vier dae af!

The Desert Dromedary, baby animals from Africa

The dromedary, or Arabian Camel, has lived in the Sahara desert for more than six thousand years. Unlike the camel that has two bumps on its back, the dromedary has only one big hump. This hump is rightly called its ‘pantry’. With only a tiny bit of water and very little food, these animals can stay alive in the desert for a very long time. That’s why they are such useful pack animals to take on long journeys through the dry desert world. No wonder that this animal is called the ‘ship’ of the desert.

Die Woestyn Dromedaris, the Desert Dromedary, babadiertjies van Afrika
(IMage Mads Severinsen, Unsplash)

With its fine sense of smell the dromedary can smell water from very far away, whether it is in a remote oasis or even under the sand! Also, the dromedary has a very sharp instinct that helps him keep its route, even when sandstorms have wiped out all traces.

At birth, the baby dromedary is covered with a beautiful woolly fleece. Gradually, however, he loses this woolliness and all that’s left in the end is just a tuft atop his big hump. While not a decoration, it does offer the dromedary some protection from the deadly rays of the desert sun.

The dromedary calf drinks from its mother for a full year. Until the top of his mouth, its palate, has developed and became tough enough for him to eat the dry desert shrubs. During this time, his stomach also reaches full maturity. The magic of the dromedary’s stomach consists of its four compartments: in the first three the food is partially digested, then the food arrives in the fourth compartiment, called the mammary gland.

The dromedary has long, graceful lashes that protect his eyes during raging sandstorms.

It is a known fact that the dromedary can travel to a speed of up to sixteen kilometers per hour. Sometimes they can cover up to eight hundred kilometers in less than four days!

Die Woestyn Dromedaris, the Desert Dromedary, babadiertjies van Afrika
(Image Vera Davidova, Unsplash)

Some Dromedary Wisdom

It is said that an Arab merchant, after loading all his goods on the dromedary’s back, looked at the poor beast, only it’s long neck and four legs as thin as stick visible from underneath the mountain of bags and crates, and felt sorry for him.

So the Arab merchant asked his dromedary if he would rather travel uphill or downhill. At which the dromedary replied, ‘is the flat road through the desert closed, then?’

Now in Afrikaans: Drie populêre kinderboeke, nou beskibaar in Afrikaans. Helder en kleurvolle illustrasies en beminlike karakters wat opwindende avonture deel. Vir kinders en ouers om saam te geniet.

Die Leeu en die Hond
Die Olifant en die Skaap
Die Jagluiperd en die Hond

babadiertjies van Afrika

I hope you enjoyes die Woestyn Dromedaris, the Desert Dromedary from babadiertjies van Afrika, animal cubs from Africa series.

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4 Replies to “Die Woestyn Dromedaris, the Desert Dromedary”

  1. What an amazing animal. I didn’t know they had multiple stomachs like cows. Hm, must be related to the cow. I also didn’t know how fast they were. 16km/hr is moving right along!

  2. Isn’t it? Perhaps underestimated outside North of Africa.

    Considering that the average speed of a horse at trot is about 12 km/h (I google-ed it), then, yes, the dromedary is pretty fast at 16km/h. And a bumpy ride 🙂

    Lovely seeing you again, Priscilla 🙂

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