PHENOTYPIC CLASSIFICATION OF SAUDI ARABIAN CAMEL (CAMELUS DROMEDARIUS)BY THEIR BODY MEASUREMENTS
Keywords:Body measurements, Camel breed, Classification, Dromedary camel
In order to identify homogeneous groups of camels according to their conformation, 212 camels (155 females and 57 males) from 9 regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and belonging to 12 different camel breed or types were measured. The body measurements included the length of the head, of the neck, of the udder and of the teat, the height at the withers, and the circumference of the neck, of the thigh and at girth. The 12 breeds were compared according to their mean body measurements and the groups with similar conformation were identified by Automatic Hierarchical Classification on Ward distance. Finally, 4 types of female camel conformation were identified: small size breed from mountains and Red Sea coast, big size camel from desert areas, and 2 breeds, Zargeh with small size but with wide chest and neck, and Asail (racing camel) with very thin neck and leg and poorly developed udder. Six groups of males are identified also but with a different distribution. This classification is close to the typology based on the ecosystem distribution of camel breeds in Saudi Arabia.