How Do Camels Survive in the Desert?

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Camels are able to survive in the desert because their humps store fat that can provide energy for up to several weeks. Camels can survive without water for several weeks because their stomach lining is designed to store ample amounts of water. A camel can drink up to 40 gallons of water at a time.

Camels have evolved to survive in one of the harshest environments on the planet. A camel's anatomy has several features that allow it to survive extreme desert weather. Camels have short, thick fur that protects them from the sun during the day, and it protects them from the freezing temperatures at night.

Camels have widespread toes that prevent them from sinking into the sand. The thickly padded toes prevent the feet from being burned by the hot sand and from injuries caused by sharp stones. Camels have hairy eyelashes, ears and nostrils to keep out the sand. Camels can shut their nostrils to stop sand from entering their noses. These features protect them from irritation and illness.

A camel's diet is simple. Camels are largely herbivorous, and they can eat thorny brush without being injured. Camels have been known to chew on bones and eat carrion in order to survive when resources are scarce. A camel can lose nearly 40 percent of its body weight before needing to refuel.