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Do Camels Store Water In Their Humps?
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Contrary to popular belief, the humps of camels are fat reservoirs and are not water reservoirs. Camels can go for ten months without a sip of water, as long as they can get sufficient moisture from green vegetation and dew. Camels have a number of physiological adaptations that allow them to forego water. For instance, camels can lose up to 40 percent of their body weight with no ill effects. A camel can also withstand a variation in body temperature of up to 14° Fahrenheit (-10° Celsius).
And when a camel reaches water, it can consume huge quantities in a short time. A camel can drink 30 gallons (113.4 liters) of water in ten minutes and up to 50 gallons (189 liters) over several hours.
Camels may have one hump or two humps. A one-humped camel is called a Dromedary, or Arabian, camel. A two-humped camel is called a Bactrian camel. Dromedary camels live in Africa and Bactrian camels live in the Gobi Desert of northern China and Mongolia.
Sources: The Marshall Cavendish International Wildlife Encyclopedia, vol. 5, pp. 484, 488; Voelker, William. The Natural History of Living Mammals, pp. 272-73.
Posted by fact-finder on October 10, 2011 at 4:00 PM (Answer #1)
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