Lions might be the kings of jungles, but camels are the kings of deserts. These tall animals are usually helpful when we travel through arid regions, and one of the chief reasons is that they can survive without drinking water for days. But do camels really store water in their humps?
“Because they store water in their humps and drink it when they’re thirsty,” says my 4-year old, C for Camel self.
At the risk of ruining your childhood, we are here to talk about what camels really hold in their humps.
Why did everyone tell me camels held water in their humps when I was a kid?
We don’t know how it started, but the origin of this myth dates back to biblical times. Um, probably. Though no one can guess why someone would play kids like that, it seems pretty obvious that the myth was made up as a result of the fact that camels can go without water for a week or more.
Well, what’s the use of the hump then?
Storage. Not water, apparently.
Camels eat a LOT when they eat, and then they can go without food for up to four or five months. This is possible because when they do have a feast, they store fat in their humps. Because they live in such dry areas, food isn’t always easy to come by. The fat tissues in their humps keep them going, though.
Watch a hungry camel eat, and you’ll see its hump going up and tightening, because of fat storage. When the desert king is running low on calories, though, the hump will be soft and slumpy.
So, how do camels go without water for a week?
Camels store water, just not in their humps. They can drink upto 20 gallons at a time, and this water travels to their bloodstream and stays there to keep them hydrated. This is how they can survive without drinking H2O for a week.
Break the cycle. Tell your kids the truth about camels.
If you liked reading this article about camels, you should also check These Mini Horses That Are Just As Big As Shiba Inus!