Travel Fun Fact

Camel, Giza, Egypt

Dromedary single-humped camels make up most of the camels alive today. They have an organ called a dulla in their throats they inflate and hang from their mouths like a tongue during mating season to attract a mate.

Camels are typically found in dessert climates due to their ability to withstand scorching temperatures and sandstorms. They can go several days without drinking water due to their physiological makeup. Unlike other mammals, the red blood cells of camels are oval shaped, rather than round. This promotes blood flow during dehydration and allows camels to withstand drastic changes in body temperature.

Camel hooves are separated into two toes, which allows them to keep their footing in sand without sinking. They also have two sets of eyelashes and three sets of eyelids that work to keep sand out of their eyes and can completely close their nostrils during sandstorms.

Some believe that camels store water in their humps to keep themselves hydrated. Camels do not store water in their humps, they store fat. The fat does release some water when metabolized. By storing their body fat in their hump(s), camels stay cooler than animals with fat distributed throughout their bodies.

Camels sweat very little but can lose up to a quarter of their body weight to sweating without being harmed. Their mouths have thick leathery mouths that allow them to chew thorny plants and other foliage other animals cannot ingest. Camel droppings are so dry that nomadic Bedouins people have traditionally used the droppings as kindling for fires directly from the camel.

There are just three species of camels still in existence. Bactrian double humped camels make up less than 10% of the camel population, and a separate species of wild Bactrian camels in Mongolia and northern China are now considered critically endangered. The riding of camels by tourist is on the decline as more travelers consider it to be unethical. We encountered this camel while visiting the pyramids in Giza, Egypt. Read more in our post, How to Visit the Pyramids at Giza Like a Boss.

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