Interesting camel facts

November 5, 2009 | In: Animal facts for kids

Camels were domesticated by humans about 5000 years ago.

There are 17 million camels worldwide.

In the desert, camels frequently serve as a source of food, clothing, transportation and shelter.

A female camel is called a cow, a male camel is called a bull and a baby camel is called a calf.

A camel can drink about 200 liters of water in a day.

Dromedary camels have one hump and were domesticated some 4,000 years ago.

One of the worst habits of the camels is spitting.

They can easily carry an extra 200 pounds (90 kilograms) while walking 20 miles (32 kilometers) a day in the harsh desert.

A riding camel can travel 80 to 120 miles in a day.

The oldest known camel is Protylopus, appeared 40-50 million years ago (Eocene) in North America.

The camel’s nickname “Ships of the Desert” comes from their walk and because they can carry heavy loads.

On an average, the lifespan of a camel is around 40 to 50 years.

A camel can drink 27 gallons of water in 10 minutes.

Unlike most mammals, camels perspire very little, even in the sweltering heat of the desert. Camels have a unique metabolism that allows them to tolerate a body temperature increase of up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius). This means that camels don’t begin to perspire until the outside temperature is over 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius), helping to minimize water loss. No other mammal can tolerate such a wide fluctuation of body temperature.

Camels also do not pant, and a group of resting camels will keep cool by pressing against each other when the air temperature is higher than their body temperature.

Camels don’t store water in their humps – they store fat!

For most mammals, fat is stored all over the body, and serves two purposes: it is an energy reserve, and it keeps them warm. But camels live in the desert, and are already warm enough! By keeping almost all their fat in their humps, with very little anywhere else, they are able to stay cooler when traveling in the desert heat.

Camels’ fat reserves allow them to survive for long periods of time without food, during which time their humps shrink. When they eat, their humps grow again.

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