How Many Stomachs Does a Camel Have?

many-stomachs-camel Credit: Dave Collier/CC-BY 2.0

A camel, like a cow or llama, has one stomach with four separate chambers that are used in different stages of the camel's digestive process. Mammals that utilize four-compartment stomachs to break down their food are called ruminants.

The need for multiple stomach compartments comes from a diet high in cellulose, which is extremely difficult for most mammals to digest. Only two species of camel exist. These include the dromedary, or Arabian, camel and the bactrian camel. The Arabian camel has a single hump on its back and can be found in arid regions from the Sahara to the Middle East. The bactrian camel has two humps and lives in the deserts of Central Asia and Australia.