How Have Camels Adapted to Life in a Sandy Desert?

camels-adapted-life-sandy-desert Credit: Pankaj & Insy Shah/Getty Images

According to the BBC, camels have adapted by developing features that preserve water and fat within their body to ensure survival in the hot and dry desert climate. Other features that camels have adapted include long eyelashes, nostrils that close and wide feet.

Food and water are typically difficult to find in the desert. The camel's hump is an adaptation that allows the animal to store fat, which reduces the need to eat on a daily basis. Camels can go for many days without drinking water, according to the Library of Congress, but when the camel does drink water it can consume thirty gallons of water or more within minutes. The BCC states that camels rarely urinate or lose water by sweating, which helps the camel conserve water. According to National Geographic, the plants in the desert contain enough water for the camel to survive for long periods of time.

National Geographic states that the camel's long eyelashes and closing nostrils are an adaptation that prevents sand from entering the eyes or nose. The camel has thick eyelashes and eyebrows that catch most of the dust and sand encountered in the desert. Wide feet allow the camel to walk over the hot desert sand easily. The BBC states that camels have developed thick fur on the top of the body to protect their skin from sun exposure, while areas that aren't exposed to the sun have thin, sparse fur to help the camel stay cool in the hot desert climate.