Camel Facts: Camel is a well-known animal and is one of the desert-dwelling animals that are now domesticated, though a few can be found roaming wild. Camels feature their distinctive humps and can survive weeks to months even without drinking water. It is this fascinating ability that makes camels special. Do you know, they also run 65kph, up to 40mph. In the Arabic communities they play a very important role.
The humps of camels allow them to store fat up to 80 pounds and it lives off for weeks and months. A camel is strong and can carry 25 miles a day, up to 900 pounds.
There are three camel species alive Dromedary, Bactrian, and wild Bactrian. The Bactrian and Dromedary are domesticated. Wild Bactrian camels comprise of a small percentage of the camel population in the word and it is marked as endangered species. They inhabit the desert areas of Mongolia and China. The Asian camels are Bactrian camels and they have two humps. The Dromedary camels are the Arabian camels and they feature only one hump.
Do you know what is inside the hump of the camel?
There is lots of fat and not water. Camel cannot find food at all ties, so when it cannot find food, the camels break down the fat stored in their humps. This fat works as a source of nutrition. Storing fat helps them in controlling body temperature. It stores fat only in the humps and not elsewhere in their bodies. This reduces heat insulation and keeps them cool in the hot desert days.
A fun fact is that the same fat that is stored in the hump drops and the fat stores begin to empty, if the camel does not eat for a while. It becomes straight on finding food and restocking the supply of fat.
The next question is if they do not carry water in the humps, how can they survive without water at a stretch for many days?
The camel bodies store water as they are well adapted. It is the reason they drink a lot on finding water. A thirsty camel can at a time drink almost 40 gallons of water. It shows they drink a lotand loss little through feces, urine and sweating, though they are in the places of high sweat and temperature.
They also lose nearly 40% of their body weight easily.
What adaptations help camels to survive in the desert?
The ability of their humps allows them to go without water and food for long periods. But, there are more adaptations helping them to survive in the sandy desert.
- Long eyelashes help camels in keeping sand out from reaching their eyes.
- Their nostrils close and the sand does not reach their noses.
- Their small ears are covered in hair, preventing dust and sand from getting in.
- Thick and wide feet, leathery pads help them walk on hot sand and do not sink.
Camels are like human beings, most social animals. It is the reason they travel in herds. Bactrian and Dromedary camels are social creatures. They are a family unit with one male as dominant, but the male’s camels are not prone to outbursts aggressively. They enjoy traveling together and their communication is by making bellows and sounds like moans.
Camels provide humans meat and milk. The milk of a camel is high in minerals, such as potassium, sodium, and Vitamin C and low in cholesterol.The camel’s milk is similar to the cow’s milk. In the desert regions, their meat forms the key source of protein.
Fun Camel Facts
- Camels never damage their mouths even after eating thorny twigs or other thorny items, while it may cause injury for other animals. Their jaw and teeth is strong to grind even a cactus in their mouth palate. Camel’s mouth split into two that allows them to eat food effectively.
- Every January, in Turkey, a camel wrestling event takes place.
- The nostril of camel is amazing. It retains water vapor and returns to its body, of
necessary. It also gets closed with wind or sand blowing.
- The skin of the camel appears as thick fur, but it reflects sun, but does not get hot in the hot desert.
- Baby camels do not have humps. They are not born with humps. They run within a few hours of birth giving a ‘baa’ sound. The child and mother stay together very close for several years.