NEET Biology Domestication of animals For enhancement of Food production Camel, Elephant and Yak

Camel, Elephant and Yak

Category : NEET



The camel is a large, horn less, ruminant mammal of genus Camel us. It is popularly called “the ship of the desert” because of its great travelling power in a desert. It is a valuable beast of burden in hot desert and semi desert regions as it can live on minimum food and water when travelling with load.


(i) Types of camels: There are two types of camels:

(a) Arabian camels (Camels dromedaries): With a single hump, short hair and found in North Africa to India. It does not occur in wild form.

(b) Turkish or Bactrian camel (Camel us Bactrian us): With two humps, long hair and found in Gobi desert of central Asia. It occurs in wild form also.


(ii) Feeding: Camels are fed on dry fodder (barley, straw) supplemented with chopped green fodder made of pulses, mustard and green peas. They browse on trees, shrubs and bushes. The size of the hump is a good indicator of its health.


(iii) Breeding: There are four kinds of camels in India. These are Jaisalmeri, Sindhi and Bikaner found in Rajasthan and Kutch found in Gujarat. They have a well-defined breeding season. Camels breed in winter (November to March).


(iv) Diseases: Camels suffer diseases such as anthrax, pneumonia, camel-pox and surra. 




Elephants are chiefly found in forests with tall trees where bamboos grow in profusion. They have very poor sight but sense of hearing and smell is highly developed.


(i) Feeding: Daily food intake is considerable, but only partially digested and utilization is low. Natural food includes bamboo shoots, leaves and various fruits. Working elephant are fed straw, hay and crushed grain as a supplement.


(ii) Breeding: Puberty occurs at between 8 and 12 years. The gestation period is 21 - 22 months. The calving interval is 4 years. Elephants may live for up to 90-100 years. Elephants are of two types: African elephants and Indian elephants.


Differences between Indian Elephant and African Elephant


Indian elephant (Elephas maximus)

African elephant (Laxodonta africans)

1. Physical Features 

Small ears, High domed forehead with 2 prominance on top of skull. One process on trunk tip Convex backed. Tusks in males only, not always

Large ears convex sloping forehead.

2. Mature at

25 years

25 years

3. Weight at maturity

Male 3000 kg

Male 6000 kg

4. Geographical distribution

Ceylon, India, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia

East, Central and West Africa

5. Uses

Timber extraction and log moving in forested areas

Very limited. In small area of Zaire, used for timber transport.





Yak is found in Tibet, Ladakh, Lahaul, Spiti, Garhwal and Sikkim. It gives meat, hide and wool. Yak is also used for tilling land. The transport of people and goods in these regions would be impossible without this animal.


Important Tips  

  • Super ovulation is a technique where a cow is made to ovulate more ova by injection of hormones.
  • The average yield of buffalo is 495 kg. With 6.5 - 7.5 percent fat.
  • Breeding season for buffaloes -September to February.
  • Gastroenteritis is the second highest cause of buffalo calf mortality.
  • The uterine and ovarian cycle of buffalo is 21 days (variations present).
  • Kranswiss (hybrid breed of livestock) was developed at NDRI, kanal, while sunandini was developed at NDRI Kerala.
  • Lindane is an insecticide used to control external parasite like lice on cattle.
  • Milk yield/cow/yr. in U.S.A. is 4250 kg. and 220 kg in India.

Sex vigour in buffalo increases in colder season.

Other Topics

Notes - Camel, Elephant and Yak

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