Camels are very strong animals that can carry a 600-pound heavy load (270 kg) for 60-70 miles per day (95-110km). They can walk 12h straight and go without water for 15 days. Strong male camels can cover over 75 miles in a day (120km).
One camel can pull 2650 lbs (1200 kg) on a two-wheeled cart at a speed of 1.5-2.5 mph (2.5-4 km/h) for 8-10 hours per day. It is said that camels produce the same ploughing power as a pair of donkeys or oxen.
This article will be about camel’s strength compared to other animals.
As one animal can be larger or smaller than the other, we will be comparing them in 3 categories:
- the amount they can carry (relative to their body weight)
- the power of their bite
- the top speed
Weight Of A Camel
Camels usually weigh between 900 and 1500 pounds, depending on the camel’s gender and species. Bactrian camels usually weigh between 990 to 1,100 pounds (450 and 500 kg), while Dromedary is between 992 and 1,521 pounds (450–690 kg).
For this article, the weight of 1500 pounds will be taken.
Compared to 600 pounds of carrying power, a camel can lift 0.4 times its body weight.
Camel’s Jaw Strength
Camels have very large teeth and strong jaw musculature that can generate a bite force of almost 400 pounds per square inch (28 kg per square cm).
Their strong teeth and tongue allow the camel to feed on branches and different pricky plants like cactuses.
They have hardened structures in their mouths called papillae that allow the animal to devour a whole cactus with little to no injury to its insides.
Top Speed Of A Camel
Camels are not the fastest animals on planet Earth, but the highest speed ever recorded for a camel was 40 miles per hour (65 km/h).
When it comes to running endurance, camels can maintain a running speed of 15 miles per hour (25km/h) for about an hour or two.
Further reading: How do camels walk?
So 3 main pieces of information for the comparisons are:
- Camels can carry 0.4 its body weight
- Camel’s jaw strength is 400 Psi
- Camel’s top speed is 40 mph
How Strong Are Camels?
1. How Strong Are Camels Compared To Humans?
A human’s jaw bite force is around 200 Psi.
For the amount a human can carry, a result of the 2004 Olympic games where Hossein Rezazadeh lifted 580.9 pounds (263.5 kg) will be taken.
He was weighing then around 330 pounds (105kg) and managed to lift 1.7 times his body weight.
The fastest human ever recorded was Usain Bolt with the top speed of 27.33 mph (43.99 km/h) in a 100-meter sprint during the World Championships in Berlin in 2009.
Compared to humans, camels have a stronger bite (400 Psi vs 200 Psi), but humans can lift more (1.7 compared to 0.4 times the camel’s body weight). When it comes to top speed, camels can run faster than humans (40mph vs 27 mph).
Important note: for humans, we compared only the weight a human could lift, not the actual carrying.
2. How Strong Are Camels Compared To Horses?
On average, horses can weigh between 900 and 2000 pounds (400-900kg), depending on the size, age and breed.
It is usually recommended for a horse to carry about 20% of its weight.
For a 2000 pound horse, that would be around 400 pounds, which is 0.2 times its body weight.
The jaw strength of a horse is about 500 Psi (35 kg per square cm) and the highest ever recorded speed was 55 mph (88km/h).
Compared to a horse, a camel can carry a heavier load (0.4 compared to 0.2 times the bodyweight), but it has a weaker jaw (400 Psi compared to a horse’s 500 Psi). When it comes to running speed, camels are a bit slower than horses (40mph compared to 55 mph).
P.S. it would have been a different situation if they were to race in a desert – a camel would beat them easily.
At least camels can still brag that they are smarter than horses.
3. How Strong Are Camels Compared To Oxen?
The average weight of an ox is between 1,500-2,400 pounds (680-1,100 kg) and they can pull and carry something almost 2,000 pounds heavy (900kg), which is just shy of 0.9 times their body weight.
Some say that an ox can carry their weight and above, 1.5 times its body weight.
Their top speed is 30 mph (48 km/h).
Compared to an ox, a camel can carry less weight. An ox can carry 0.9 its body weight, and a camel only 0.4 times. When it comes to speed, a camel can run faster than an ox (40mph vs 30mph).
Unfortunately, no data on ox bite power was available for comparison.
4. How Strong Are Camels Compared To Bears?
A grizzly bear can weigh up to 790 pounds (360 kg), and when it comes to strength, it can lift over 1,100 pounds (500kg), which is around 1.4 times its body weight.
It has an impressive 1160 Psi of biting power and can reach a running speed of 35 mph (56km/h).
Compared to grizzly bears, camels can carry less weight (0.4 compared to 1.4 of bears) and have almost 3 times weaker jaw-biting power (400 Psi compared to 1160 Psi of bears). When it comes to speed, a camel can outrun a grizzly bear, as they are 5mph faster (40mph vs 35mph).
Read More: Do Bears Have Belly Button Scars?
5. How Strong Are Camels Compared To Mules?
A mule usually weighs between 820 and 1,100 pounds (370 and 460 kg) and there have been several reported cases of mules carrying around 353 pounds (160 kg).
That’s approximately 0.3 times their body weight.
Usually, it is recommended that the mules are not carrying more than 0.2 times their body weight.
The top speed of a mule is around 15 mph (24 km/h).
Compared to mules, camels can carry a bigger load (0.4 times their body weight, compared to 0.3 in mules). When it comes to speed, camels are a lot faster than mules (40mph vs 15mph).
No data was available on the bite power of the mule.
6. How Strong Are Camels Compared To Elephants?
Elephants are some of the strongest mammals and land animals. They can weigh up to 14,000 pounds (6,350kg) and can carry 19,800 pounds (9,000kg).
That’s 1.4 their body weight.
African elephants can run at speeds of up to 25 mph (40 km/h).
Compared to elephants, camels can carry less weight (0.4 times their body weight compared to 1.4 times for elephants). When it comes to speed, camels are a lot faster (40mph compared to 25mph of elephants).
No data on elephant biting power is available.
Here is the summary of the comparison of strength between the animals.
|Animals||Weight||Carrying Strength||Jaw Strength||Top Speed|
|Camel||900-1500 lbs||0.4 times its body weight||400 Psi||40 mph|
|Human||330 lbs*||1.7 times its body weight||200 Psi||27 mph|
|Horse||900-2000 lbs||0.2 times its body weight||500 Psi||55 mph|
|Ox||1500-2400 lbs||0.9 times its body weight||No data||30 mph|
|Grizzly Bear||400-790 lbs||1.4 times its body weight||1160 Psi||35 mph|
|Mule||820-1100 lbs||0.3 times its body weight||No data||15 mph|
|Elephant||4000-14,000 lbs||1.4 times its body weight||No data||25 mph|
*the weight Hossein Rezazadeh had when he broke the world record
Another camelid is also famous for its biting. Read more about llama’s biting behavior.
And there you have it!
This concludes the article on the camel strength and its comparison to other animals. These beasts of burden from the desert are some of the strongest animals in the world.
Camels are strong animals that can carry about 600 pounds, which is 0.4 times their weight. Compared to horses and mules, camels can carry a heavier load, but a lot less than bears, oxen, and elephants (relative to their body weight).
Camels have a stronger jaw strength compared to horses and humans, but not more than grizzly bears.
Camels are faster than humans, oxen, mules, elephants, and bears, with the camels reaching a speed of 40mph. They are slower than horses though, which can run up to 55 mph.
Compared to camels, llamas have a similar top speed, 40 mph.
Did you know that camels and horses shared a common ancestor 80 million years ago? Read more about it here.
We hope you enjoyed the article and found it informative.
Camel Bites: A Case Study with a Summary of Current Epidemiology, Injury Patterns, and Treatment Modalities