Are Camels or Horses Faster?

Camels give the impression that they are in no particular hurry. Their relaxed attitude and unusual body structure prove that appearances can be deceiving. Are camels or horses faster? To find the answer, take the circumstances into consideration.

Racing conditions

Not all horses are created equal when it comes to speed.

  • Racehorses outrun camels, but they are the exception. Most camels can outrun the average horse.
  • While a horse typically runs fast on grass or a hard road, on sand a camel can definitely outrun a horse.
  • A camel carrying no load can reach a speed of 37 miles per hour. A racehorse peaks at 40 miles per hour.
  • When it comes to endurance, camels are the clear winners. They can run at a consistent speed of 7.4 miles per hour for up to 18 hours.

Camels vs. horses

Speed is not the only factor to take into consideration.

  • While horses need regular food and water, camels can go for days without either. When traveling in an area such as the desert or other arid areas, this characteristic is very important.
  • Camels have far more endurance than horses and are better designed to carry heavy loads. The design of a camel's saddle versus that of a horse's reflects that difference. Camels can accommodate a much heavier load than a horse can.
  • While horses have been known to bolt and run when frightened, camels have a more laid-back attitude. Not only are they more relaxed, they are also smart. Horses panic if they get tangled up in ropes, whereasa camel gets tangled up, it will relax and figure out what to do about the problem. Camels are able to assess a situation and find a solution.
  • When a horse is subjected to abuse by an owner, it becomes distrustful and nervous. A camel, on the other hand, takes abuse more personally. Many camels become unpleasant to be around and in some cases even dangerous after being abused.

Horses vs. camels

  • On the other hand, horses are more responsive than camels because they are more sensitive and reactive. A horse has a lighter touch and has more agility and stability than a camel.
  • Horses are also more sure-footed than camels. Camels have smooth paws, which are not well suited for icy or muddy surfaces. However, camels do have a trick up their sleeve: They can drop to their knees and crawl.
  • For transportation, horses are more convenient. While any horse will fit in a standard horse trailer, a male camel will never fit in such an enclosure. Camels are on average 8' and sometimes taller.

The nature of a camel

One only has to look into the eyes of camels to know what gentle animals they are. Camels, if treated with love and respect, are affectionate and inquisitive and crave attention. However, their emotional nature makes them more unpredictable than horses. Camels also need the company of other camels to keep them happy.

Are camels or horses faster? For a short distance in mud, a horse will probably win, but for long-distance running in sand, place your wager on a camel.

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