How Long Can A Camel Go Without Water? Interesting Facts For Kids

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Outdoor & NatureLearn more
How long can a camel go without water? They use their body as a storage unit for food and water that lasts for months.

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Ever wondered how camels, the ships of the desert, survive in the desert without drinking?

It's not like camels don't need water. They are living creatures that rely on water. But their body is designed to tolerate the harsh desert conditions.

The question is for what length of time could a camel survive? On average, camels are capable of surviving for a period of seven months or around 250 days without water. That's more than half a year, which is actually incredible to say the least! But there are several factors that influence this figure. Under different circumstances, camels will not even survive a week. In this article, we explain in brief how long can a camel go without water.

To learn more fascinating facts, why not read these fun fact articles on how long can a chicken live without a head and how long can a fish live out of water.

Purpose Of Humps In Camels

Camels are known for their humps that they seemingly carry like luggage. Contrary to what many people believe, camels do not store water in their humps.

Nor does the hump contain any vital organs. In fact, it's primarily made of fat cells and tissues that could easily weigh nearly 80 lb (36.2 kg). The humps are used to store fat. Camels are herbivores and eat all the time. The majority of their diet consists of carb-rich food like grass, grains, plants, and wheat. At one time, they can consume a lot of food. Just like cows, they can regurgitate and process the food later. The surplus energy from what they've eaten gets stored in the humps in the form of fats. As the fat cells store energy, they get bigger and bigger up to a point where the humps look like an upright structure. But as energy is burnt, the humps get smaller, lose shape, and eventually droop down.

Why do camels store water?

Camels do not store water in their humps. Actually, they store it in their bloodstream. It's interesting to know that a camel can drink as much as 30 gal (113.5 l) of water in one go. Once inside their bodies, the fluid make it into their blood cells where it's stored.

The blood cells are elastic, capable of changing shapes, which allows camels to drink so much water in one go. There's a reason why their bodies are made like this. These mammals have evolved to go without food or water for months. Even during the ice age millions of years ago, they had to survive the cold for months.

In the desert climate, there is a high scarcity of water. When they come across an oasis, they drink gallons of water and store it in their blood cells. These creatures rely on this stored fluid for days and weeks, without knowing how long they would have to go without drinking.

A camel's body has evolved to store water to cope well with the desert environment. They find themselves going weeks or even months without anything to consume.

How long can a camel go without water?

Camels are incredibly tough animal species. They can go without drinking water or eating for long periods. But how long exactly?

In general, camels can survive for about six to seven months without needing water. The condition is that the camel is fully stocked with fat and water, and during the winter season, the animal gets to eat green plants from time to time. A deviation in any of the conditions will reduce the timeline for how long a camel can survive.

So if the camel is non-hydrated with the temperature soaring above 98.6 F (37 C), its body can hardly last five days. Then there are other factors like breed, age, size, and individual traits. The bactrian and wild bactrian camels have two humps, while the Dromedary camels have one. So the former breeds may survive for longer period of time. Almost 94% of the camels in the world are Dromedary camels.

How long a camel can go without drinking water also depends on the size and weight. Camels with bigger humps and body will probably store a larger amount of fat and water than camels of a smaller size. So smaller camels may not meet the seven months mark. The timeframe will also depend on their physical activity and access to resources. Heavy workload under intense heat will mean the camel will lose water, weight, and energy much quicker.

Today, the majority of camels are domesticated. They facilitate transportation, and offer milk and meat to their owners. So usually, camels do not have to go for days without drinking. The owners provide them with an ample amount of drinking water.

Adaptation Of Camels

Camels are also fascinating as an animal and as a species in how their bodies seamlessly adopt to the situation.

First is the camel's internal body temperature range, which is far greater than other mammals. During summer days, their body temperatures can safely be anywhere in the 91.4-104 F (33-40 C) range. In humans, a degrees change will cause problems. It's the camel's ability to selectively cooling the head temperature while keeping the rest of the body temperature same. Camels do it to protect themselves from heat during heatwaves. This adaptation is essential to their survival.

Another marvelous adaptation feature of a camel's body is when it loses water from its body. A camel can store water and lose 40-50% of it fluid percentage without disrupting its health. In humans, a loss of 15% body fluids will be drastic. This adaptation is because of the shape of its blood cells. Their cells are actually elliptical in shape and quite flexible. This facilitates blood flow when the blood gets thick due to loss of water. In humans, the blood flow gets reduced as the blood gets thicker.

Furthermore, camels sweat efficiently. They perspire at a lower rate than other animals. Also, they sweat beneath their fur. The evaporation helps them stay cool under the scorching sun. All of these adaptations make the camel a unique species in the entire world. Camel stores water, it can go without food and water, and looks super cute. Given a chance, you should surely visit this lovely creature and its hump.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how long can a camel go without water, then why not take a look at how long can a bearded dragon go without eating, or are trees pl


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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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