Ship of the Desert

Next to donkey, ox and sheep also an exotic animal is typically present in the Christmas crib: The Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus, Hall 35) was allegedly used by the Three Holy Kings as a mount. The domestication of the two-humped camel began 4500 years ago. Since camels hardly sweat, they can store water for long periods. However their humps are no water but a fat storage. Another adaptation to the desert: Bactrian camels can close their nostrils to protect themselves from sandstorms.
(Foto © NHM Wien, Kurt Kracher)