Ca'mel. n.s. [camelus, Lat.] An animal very common in Arabia, Judea, and the neighbouring countries. One sort is large, and full of flesh, and fit to carry burdens of a thousand pounds weight, having one bunch upon its back. Another has two bunches upon their backs, like a natural saddle, and are fit either for burdens, or men to ride on. A third kind is leaner, and of a smaller size, called dromedaries, because of their swiftness; which are generally used for riding by men of quality. See Dromedary.
Camels have large solid feet, but not hard; in the spring, their hair falls entirely off, in less than three days time, when the flies are extremely uneasy to them. Camels, it is said, will continue ten or twelve days without eating or drinking, and keep water a long time in their stomach, for their refreshment. It is reported, that nature has furnished them, for this purpose, with a very large ventricle, with many bags closed within the coats of it, round about it, for reserving the water. But the Jesuits in China, where they dissected several camels, found no such bags. When a camel is upon a journey, his master follows him, singing and whistling; and the louder he sings, the better the camel goes. The flesh of camels is served up at the best tables, among the Arabians, Persians, and other eastern nations; but the use of it was forbid the Hebrews, they being ranked by Moses among the unclean creatures, Deut. xiv. 7. Calmet.
Patient of thirst and toil,
Son of the desert! even the camel feels,
Shot through his wither'd heart, the firy blast. Thomson.