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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Texas Camel Brigade

The Chihuahuan desert stretches across the western edge of Texas. From our car, we see roadrunner, tumbleweeds, and mountains. I think that the desert is beautiful. Lots of animals live here. I like to learn how animals live in the desert.

Fort Davis was once home to some of the strangest animals in Texas. In 1857, Lieutenant Edward Beal brought 25 camels to the desert fort. He wanted to try an experiment to see if camels worked better than mules, horses, donkeys, or oxen.

Camels can carry four times more weight than mules. They can go four or five days without water.

Camels are very interesting creatures. They are well suited for the desert. They have one or two fatty humps on their back to store energy. Their long eyelashes keep sand out of their eyes. Their wide feet keep them from sinking in the sand. Camels live about 40 years.

Like dogs, camels help people. They have helped humans for over 3,000 years. Unlike dogs, however, camels stink! In fact, the soldiers at Fort Davis didn't like the camels. The camels scared their horses. Some camels also had bad tempers.

The Texas Camel Brigade was not a successful experiment. The soldiers liked their horses better. Soon railroads were built across the American desert to transport supplies. If you would like to know more about the Texas Camel Brigade, just click on one of these sites:

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