How Have Camels Adapted to Life in a Sandy Desert?
The camel is an expert at surviving in harsh conditions:
it can survive for months without water in dry, barren
places, while consuming only thorny and salty desert
plants, and relying on the single or double hump (stores
of fat) on their back for energy. The camel uses this
“backpack” of fat during times where there is little
or no food. When the fat is consumed, the hump will
flop to the side of the camel. When a camel does drink
water, it can drink up to 27 gallons in only a few minutes.
A camel’s foot has two hoofed toes, linked together
by skin. When walking, the toes spread far apart, which
prevents the camel from sinking into the sand. When
camels walk, they move the front and back legs of a
side together, which creating a rolling gait that has
led to them being called “ships of the desert”. This
rolling gait is very effective; in the sand, camels
can travel over 19 miles a day.
Camels have large eyes and nostrils, which provides
them with good eyesight and sense of smell. To protect
their large eyes, camels have three sets of eyelids.
This helps protect their eyes during a sandstorm. Two
of the eyelids are fringed with long lashes, which help
keep sand out, while the third eyelid keeps the camel’s
eyes clean. Camels can also keep sand out of their nose,
by closing their nostrils.
About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals http://www.wildlife-animals.com
an educational wildlife and animal website. Jacob also
guest writes for Dog Pound http://www.dog-pound.net