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Camel Skeleton
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CarolineTwoPonies
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 Posted: Tue Dec 28th, 2010 02:01 am
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Dear Doctor Deb, I was finally able to download a photo of a camel skeleton from the Bone Gallery at the Smithsonian.

Attachment: Camel Skeleton.jpg (Downloaded 308 times)

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Dec 28th, 2010 03:05 am
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Caroline, this is great, again. Maybe you and other folks would like to have a go at listing every difference that you can see between the skeleton of the camel and that of the horse (I post it again below for ease of reference, or if you like, just right-click, select "copy", paste the image into your photo processing software, so that you have the camel and the horse side-by-side at the same size).

This comparison is much closer than our previous discussion, which compared horse to buffalo. The camel, like the horse, is long-legged and long-necked. And yet obviously a camel does not look like a horse. Why not?

As we develop a list of the skeletal differences, the reasons "why not" will become more apparent. This should be fun -- everyone is welcome to chime in. -- Dr. Deb

Attachment: Skeleton of Arab horse AMNH Mount ca 1915.jpg (Downloaded 302 times)

A.S.
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 Posted: Tue Dec 28th, 2010 03:56 am
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Here are the three big things I see:

1) camel's neck vertebrae have large lateral processes, which probably impede lateral flexion
2) camel's atlas bone attaches from underneath the camel's skull, while the horse's atlas attaches more end-on - so the camel would find it more difficult to fold the head down towards its chest compared with a horse
3) the spinal processes are of a more uniform height in the camel... I'm not sure what difference this makes, however.

Tasha
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 Posted: Tue Dec 28th, 2010 05:08 am
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The horse has one toe the camel has two.

The camel's spine looks quite arched compared to the horse.

The camel has fewer ribs, and its rib bones are wider.

The camel's pelvis is tilted up more - if that is right description. When I saw live camels earlier this year they always put me in mind of a horse that is tucked up.

Brenton Ross Matthews
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 Posted: Tue Dec 28th, 2010 06:06 am
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Bloody hard to get the camel to do the Rollkur !!!

  Brenton


Being serious now--for a change-- Dr Deb What is the difference in the skeletons of the two types of camels?

Last edited on Tue Dec 28th, 2010 06:15 am by Brenton Ross Matthews

A.S.
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 Posted: Tue Dec 28th, 2010 07:58 am
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Tasha wrote:

The camel's spine looks quite arched compared to the horse.

I was looking at that, but isn't that horse skeleton mounted really stiffly? I wonder how much difference there is between a camel and a horse in a more natural position.

Dorothy
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 Posted: Tue Dec 28th, 2010 05:55 pm
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These are the things that strike me immediately:

The attachment of the occiput to the atlas is at a different angle, and the camel has no 'mitbah'

I can only count 11 thoracic vertebrae and ribs - am I miscounting?

I count 6 or 7 lumbar vertebrae (6 is the same as the horse), so the camel has a proportionately longer lumbar span than the horse

The sacrum is inclined downwards in the camel, but is horizontal in the horse - would this have implications for muscle actions?

The 'wither' thoracic spinouses are less prominent in the camel, this would give a different / less powerful attachment for the nuchal ligament

The thoracolumbar spine in the camel is definitely arched upwards with the anticlinal vertebra at the highest point. In this horse the spine is virtually straight. This leads to the impression of much more 'downhill-ness' in the camel, and makes me wonder if it has the capacity for the thoracolumbar spine to act like a cantilever bridge in the way a horse's can.

The scapula and humerus and the pelvis and femur are all more vertical with more 'open' shoulder, elbow, hip and stifle joints

 

Sam
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 Posted: Tue Dec 28th, 2010 06:01 pm
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Can't resist a quick post on this one, the first thing that hits me is the camel will be useless at collection! With the long lumbar spine and teen tiny sacrum there appears to be no way the camel can coil his loins, raise the free span of his back, (this kind of appears to be already hunched...for carrying the hump maybe!) and there also looks to be no way for a camel to raise the base on his neck. The camel looks be a perfect design to move with a stiff back without any 'wooka wooka', as I don't think it would be in the animals best interest to be 'wooka-ing' a hump! Thanks for posting the picture, what fun!
Cheers Sam

Dorothy
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 Posted: Tue Dec 28th, 2010 06:08 pm
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Carrying on ideas from Sam - if this is a one hump camel, then the arch of the spine is indeed ideal for supporting the weight of the hump, which would actually make the configuration of the spine better for carrying the weight of a rider......??

Ola
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 Posted: Tue Dec 28th, 2010 07:22 pm
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Here are my ideas:
-         the length of camel’s neck is greater then the horse’s, and since almost all mammals have the same number of cervical vertebrae, camel’s neck is less flexible,
-         camel’s neck is not s-shaped as the horse’s, it has only one, big curvature at the base of the neck, which makes it difficult for camel to raise it,
-         I don’t know if it’s important, but camel’s lumbar vertebrae seem to have wider spaces between their transverse processes; it would permit more twisting movement,
-         I don’t know the ratio in numbers, but the femur looks longer comparatively to other bones, than in a horse; it would give the camel more ‘swinging’ stride.

David Genadek
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 Posted: Fri Dec 31st, 2010 09:28 pm
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The things that strike me the most are the width and number of ribs, the proportion of the sacrum to the lumbar span. It looks like the Camel has a much weaker hind end.
Here is a link to a youtube of a horse and camel moving side by side.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnsWQ4kNG-w

Last edited on Fri Dec 31st, 2010 09:30 pm by David Genadek

Horse Adventurer
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 Posted: Sun Jan 2nd, 2011 02:23 am
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The ribs of the horse seem to  have more of an angle going from lateral to midline to meet sternum.

Cannot  really make out the leg placement of the Camel but wonder if they walk like a pacer.

OK, trebbily rusty on m anatomy but...the most distal long bone (pastern?) much more of an angle.

Last edited on Sun Jan 2nd, 2011 02:29 am by Horse Adventurer

Obie
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 Posted: Sun Jan 2nd, 2011 03:16 pm
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Commenting on AS 's last post.  I don' think the horse is  mounted in a stiff position, I believe he is in a natural position. His neck has a very high postioned base to it. (c-7). It does appear stiff for that reason. I can imagine the outward structure of his neck was very beautiful; his neck coming out of his chest quit high. I can imagine his movement was also beautiful

Obie
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 Posted: Sun Jan 2nd, 2011 03:25 pm
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Also comparing the two. It looks like the camels pelvis bones are turned outward more than the horses. Possibly because the camel hindquarters are much narrower that the horse and could not handle the width.

David Genadek
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 Posted: Sun Jan 2nd, 2011 04:08 pm
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Here is a picture of a ponies spine with the proper curves.


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