Camels

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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.

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  • Why are camels called ships of the desert?

    Q: Why are camels called ships of the desert?

    A: Camels are called "ships of the desert" because of their numerous and unique physical traits that enable them survive in harsh desert climates, particularly their ability to consume very little water without dehydrating. There are several species of camels, such as the Arabian camel and Bactrian camel, which vary slightly in physical appearance, but share a suite of characteristics and physical features, such as broad flat feet and a double row of eyelashes, to help them survive in hot and arid deserts.
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  • How long can a camel last without water?

    Q: How long can a camel last without water?

    A: According to the California Academy of Sciences, camels can survive for up to six months without drinking water. Camels consume large quantities of water at one time and can drink up to 35 gallons of water in six minutes, allowing for optimal fluid conservation.
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  • What is the difference between a one hump and a two hump camel?

    Q: What is the difference between a one hump and a two hump camel?

    A: One-humped and two-humped camels are two entirely different species. The two-humped species is the Bactrian camel, while the one-humped species is the dromedary. Bactrian camels are an Asiatic species, named after Bactria in Central Asia, whereas dromedaries are a North African species.
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  • How much water does a camel drink?

    Q: How much water does a camel drink?

    A: Depending on their needs, camels can drink up to 114 liters of water in a 10-minute sitting. If fresh water is unavailable, they may drink salty or brackish water. However, during the winter, only their food provides water.
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  • How long can a camel go without water?

    Q: How long can a camel go without water?

    A: When temperatures rise above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, camels can survive for about five days without drinking water. During the winter, camels can survive six or seven months without drinking water. During that time, they may obtain moisture from plants they consume.
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  • Can camels swim?

    Q: Can camels swim?

    A: Only some camels can swim. According to The Times of India, experts have confirmed that a unique breed of camels, known as Kharai, can swim up to three kilometers, or nearly two miles, in the sea. They do so while seeking mangroves to feed on.
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  • Why do camels spit?

    Q: Why do camels spit?

    A: Camels spit in order to surprise, distract or generally ward off a threat. The “spit” from a camel is more than just saliva. It is mixed with the camel’s stomach contents as well.
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  • How do camels protect themselves from predators?

    Q: How do camels protect themselves from predators?

    A: Camels protect themselves from predators by regurgitating their stomach contents mixed with saliva in a projectile fashion. This practice is commonly referred to as spitting. According to the San Diego Zoo, when camels spit, it is meant to startle and distract potential predators.
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  • How do camels live in the desert?

    Q: How do camels live in the desert?

    A: Camels store fat reserves in their humps that provide them with enough nutrition to survive for months in hot, dry climates. The fatty, watery substance in their humps can fuel their bodies during famines. A camel's metabolism allows it to lose up to 40 percent of its body fluid before dehydration becomes a problem. This energy efficient mammal can drink up to 30 gallons of water in one sitting.
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  • What is a baby camel called?

    Q: What is a baby camel called?

    A: A baby camel is known as a calf. Female camels generally only give birth to one calf after a 13-month pregnancy.
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  • Where do camels live?

    Q: Where do camels live?

    A: Arabian or dromedary camels, which have one hump, live in Northern Africa, Southwestern Asia and Australia, while Bactrian camels, which have two humps, lives in Mongolia and China. Most of the world's camels are domesticated and live with nomadic people in desert regions. The largest camel population is on the Horn of Africa in the countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.
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  • How tall is a camel?

    Q: How tall is a camel?

    A: Dromedary camels stand an average of 5.9 to 6.6 feet tall, and Bactrian camels stand an average of 5.2 feet to 5.9 feet. Camel height is generally measured from the bottom of the camel's feet to its shoulders.
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  • How many humps does a camel have?

    Q: How many humps does a camel have?

    A: Dromedary camels have one hump, while Bactrian camels have two humps. Dromedaries live in the deserts of the Middle East and north Africa. Bactrian camels live in northeastern Asia.
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  • How long do camels live?

    Q: How long do camels live?

    A: The average life expectancy of a camel is 40 to 50 years. Their natural predators include leopards, lions and humans. Camels were domesticated more than 5,000 years ago and no longer exist in the wild.
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  • How do a camel's hooves help it?

    Q: How do a camel's hooves help it?

    A: A camel's feet, which are technically not hooves, help it because they have thick, large footpads that are filled with fat to help the animal walk easily over sand and stony ground. This is true of both the one-humped Arabian camel and the two-humped Bactrian camel. Moreover, the Bactrian camel sometimes travels over the snows found in Siberia and the Himalayas and the physiology of its feet are useful in this terrain as well.
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  • What is a female camel called?

    Q: What is a female camel called?

    A: Female camels are called cows. Just like some other ungulates and animals, male camels are also called bulls and their young are known as calves.
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  • Q: What is the habitat of a camel?

    A: Camels, who are capable of storing water within their bodies, are most often found in desert environments. However, the specifics of their habitats depend upon the breed.
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  • Q: What are some interesting camel facts for kids?

    A: A common belief is that camels store water in their humps, but the humps are actually reservoirs that store fat. This allows the camel to remain cool in hot temperatures, as the rest of its body is thinly insulated. Arabian camels have a single hump, while Asian camels have two humps.
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  • Q: What are the predators of camels?

    A: The camels living in South America fall prey to large cats, such as leopards and jaguars. The camels of Africa and South Asia have no natural predators.
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  • Q: What do camels eat?

    A: Camels are herbivorous and are specifically adapted to consume cactus and other thorny plants. Their mouths contain a leathery lining that protects the inside from damage. They also eat plants that do not contain thorns, such as willow and poplar.
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  • Q: Why are camels' red blood cells nucleated?

    A: Camels have nucleated red blood cells because the cells help continue blood flow during times when water is scarce. The blood cells can significantly expand during rehydration. They are capable of expanding up to 240 percent of their original volume. Normal red blood cells can only expand 150 percent.
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