A camel is called the ship of the desert. There is a reason why it is called a ship. It can carry people and goods across a desert without taking a rest for days. It can even survive without drinking a drop of water. Is it because it has a hump? What does it store in its hump? Is it water? Let us find out where a camel stores water.
What is a Camel Hump?
A small hill shape formed on the back of a camel is called a camel hump. Camels can have two humps too. This hump is made of fat tissues. These tissues store rich fat. Camels accumulate fat in their humps to use later.
A Camel with a Hump
What is the Function of a Camel Hump?
Now that we know what a camel hump is, you must be curious to know what its purpose is. A camel hump is an organ that stores fat. There is a myth that a camel stores water in its hump. It is actually not true. A camel does not use its hump as a water pot. A camel hump can weigh up to 37 kilos.
It is made of rich fat and acts as a source of energy when there is a scarcity of food. Fat is dissolved slowly as needed from the hump of a camel to supply energy. Camels can live without food for 15 days. If a camel is lost or is unable to find food, it can survive for two weeks.
Where does a Camel store Water?
Camels don’t store water in their humps. Humps are used to store fat. Then, where does a camel store water? It is obvious that a huge animal like a camel living in a desert will have to have a mechanism for storing water.
You will be surprised to know that camels store water in their bloodstream. A camel can drink as much as 30 gallons of water at a time. This water is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Due to the oval shape of the blood cells, they can store water to a considerable extent.
This is why a camel can go thirsty for seven days. Its blood will not get diluted even if it drinks a lot of water. Camels can also regulate their body temperature and control sweating to preserve water.
A Camel in a Desert
Do You Know?
What happens to a camel’s hump when all the fat is used up? It droops like a deflated balloon. When the fat starts to accumulate, it inflates to form a hump.
Camels can survive sand storms.
A camel can eat thorny bushes and cactuses to survive.
Camels can run faster than horses in a desert because of their flat hooves.
Tips for Parents
Explain what a hump is and its difference from the camel stomach. Describe how a camel stores fat in its hump with pictures. Kids will learn scientific facts and will be able to remember them. Use camel by camel pictures to demonstrate the facts about the animal.