Camels have fascinated people for many years and one of the most known fact about them is that they can survive without water for a long time. Here are more interesting facts about these animals.
Not many animals can survive in the desert, but the camel is fully equipped to handle this lifestyle with ease. To ensure that he doesn’t sink into the sand, the camel has large feet. He also has thick skin pads on his knees and on his chest to help him sit comfortably on the hot sand. And to ensure that he can still breathe in a sandstorm, his nostrils can close. Three eyelids and two layers of eyelashes also protect his eyes from desert sand. These things offer pretty much all the protection an animal needs to endure a sandstorm.
Food can be pretty scarce in the desert; therefore, camels aren’t very picky when it comes to what they eat. A camel’s mouth has a thick layer inside it that allows him to eat thorny plants without hurting himself. He eats mainly cacti, dried grass, desert bushes, twigs and date stones. He will even eat fish if he can find them in the desert.
To prevent himself from starving, the camel uses his hump (or humps) to store fat as an energy source. His hump(s) will sag or completely disappear when all the stored fat is depleted.
A camel can drink up to 113.5ℓ of water in one sitting and then survive months without drinking again.
There are only two types of camels – the one-humped camel called the dromedary and the two-humped Bactrian camel. The Bactrian camel is sometimes classified into two species – wild and domesticated. The Bactrian camel has a woolly coat, while the dromedary camel has hairy ears.
Although the camel is often portrayed as being grumpy, he is actually a very intelligent animal. Apparently, a camel is about as clever as an eight-year-old child and can be equally emotional – including being cheeky, playful, witty and charming. He is a sensitive animal and should be treated with respect.
In nature, camels live in herds and can travel up to 160km in one day. They explore and socialise during the day, but tend to rest at noon (during the hottest time of the day).