The camel, an animal native to arid regions in Asia and northern Africa. Camels can survive for months without food or water by making the stored fat their only source of energy.
A camel’s hump allows for such efficient storage of fats that it can even survive for a week without water.
A large male dromedary camel can survive for a month without water while consuming only twigs and leaves.
Camels have a reputation for being able to go for months without food or water, but that isn’t true.
In reality, camels drink tremendous quantities of water every day.
A camel can take up to 30 gallons (114 liters) in a single drink.
If the camel does not drink for 10 to 14 days, it will no longer be able to extract sufficient water and could die of dehydration.
What Allows Camels to do This
A male camel’s hump, containing between 30 and 50 pounds of fat, is where the animal derives its energy.
Not only does this give camels the strength to travel, but it allows them to survive for weeks without resources.
It takes about 15 minutes for a camel to take in enough water to replace what it might have lost during an hour’s time.
A camel could drink between 30 and 50 gallons (114-190 liters) of water at one time.
When they cannot get water, camels can go for ten days to two weeks.
They will become very thirsty and their body condition is likely to deteriorate.
However, they can survive without drinking for this length of time.
Before the next drink is available though, they must eat some vegetation to help rehydrate themselves since there is no moisture in the vegetation.
Lack of water can be fatal to camels, but they are able to go longer without it.
Animals who have the chance to best camels in these situations may be the elephant or the giraffe.
A camel’s hump is essential for storing fat that it will use during times when food and water are scarce.
The hump is called a “fat bank.”
When this source of energy is used up, the animal will have to turn to its body reserves for energy.
It could very well be fatal because it takes so long for moisture levels to return to normal after not drinking water.
Camels come with an internal alarm clock that lets them know when to seek water.
They may go for a day or two without water, but will not let their body reserves of fat run out before returning to the watering hole.
Camels do not need to drink as much water as other animals because they can extract moisture from food and plants through a process known as “transpiration.”
Camels also recycle their urine. They get rid of the excess salt in it by using special glands near their eyes.
The animal then reabsorbs the moisture back into its body after allowing the urine to dry on its legs and stomach.
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