| ||Throughout the countries around the Sahara, such as Mauritania, the camel is an essential part of the national livestock, for it is perfectly adapted to the environment’s aridity. By domesticating the dromedary several thousand years ago, man was able to conquer the desert, then develop trans-Saharan trade routes. This genuine “ship of the desert” only consumes 20 to 40 lbs (9 to 18 kg) of vegetables a day and can subsist without water for the three months of the cool season. In summer it can only go a few days without drinking, but a human under the same conditions would die of dehydration in twenty-four hours. The fat stored in a dromedary’s single hump regulates its temperature, allowing it to withstand the warming of its body without sweating to cool down. In Mauritania, the Moors raise dromedaries for their milk and meat, as well as their leather and wool. In 2008, the country’s dromedary livestock was estimated at 1.5 million head.
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