Print Camels Reading Comprehension
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 7 to 9
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||droppings, endure, overeat, manure, unnecessary, closable, hump, capable, thorny, fuel, loss, oasis, restore, goods, avoid, benefit
||North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, Sahara Desert
1 Known as "ships of the desert", camels have been used for transporting goods across deserts for thousands of years. In fact, camels are the only desert animals that can carry heavy loads of goods and travel for a long period of time without food or water. Transportation, however, is not the only benefit that camels can offer us. Desert people also rely on camels for their milk, meat, and fur. Even camels' droppings are useful - desert people use camels' manure as fuel.
2 Weighing more than 1,500 pounds, adult camels can reach a height of 6 feet at their shoulders and 7 feet at their humps. Camels have two hoofed toes on each foot, under which a leathery pad links the two toes. When camels walk, they spread their toes as wide apart as possible to prevent their feet from sinking into the sand. The tough, leathery pads under their feet also allow camels to walk on stony, rough ground. Camels are nicknamed "ships of the desert" because they walk like the motion of a rolling boat - move both feet on one side of their bodies, then both feet on the other.
3 There are two different species of camels - dromedary and Bactrian. To tell one from the other is easy; just count how many humps a camel has! With just one hump on their backs, dromedary camels live in North Africa and the Middle East. Bactrian camels have two humps, and they exist only in China and Central Asia. Interestingly, camels' humps are like their secret safe. When there is plenty of food - any vegetation in deserts, including thorny twigs and salty plants that other desert animals cannot have - camels overeat and store the extra as fat in their humps. The excessive fat in their humps is like a safety net allowing camels to have enough energy to walk extra miles until they find something to eat.
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