Camels are considered to be the most resistant animals due to the high temperatures they can withstand and endure being the heat and in the desert.


Have you ever really wondered... what does a camel hide inside its humps?

There are many misconceptions and superstitions of people believing that the humps of the camels contain water and that this is the highest percentage of liquid that they keep to survive due to the extreme high temperatures they go through, such as withstand a lot of weight and survive very high temperatures of heat.

It was believed for many years that camels had an internal water reserve, but, the truth is that, these animals do not keep a high percentage of water inside their humps, on the contrary, what they keep and reserve is, a high percentage of fat.

The popular belief is that camels have water inside their humps and this is totally false because what they have is fat and not water, those humps are their reserves of nutrients and lipids, camels and dromedaries use these humps as a warehouse, each capable of storing up to 36 kilos of fat, which are useful and helps them in their dry seasons when there is a shortage of food and water to survive.

Camel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Camels, when they are babies, they are not born with any kind of hump as it has not yet developed in their organism, for the youngest, when they are in their earlier years, they are literally mistaken or campared with animals like an alpaca or a llama.

Baby camels do not have any kind of humps as they do not store any calories inside them and therefore do not possess any kind of fat inside their humps like adults.

When camels are at a young age, their bodies mainly do not need to store but take advantage of all available nutrients to grow to adulthood. Camel humps begin to appear and rise at approximately 10 to 12 months of age.

A camel with a full hump can go through extreme situations and therefore several months without eating, but this does not imply exactly that they can survive without water, since this liquid is of total importance for them and all of us to survive, they need the water to go through high temperatures and many months without eating, 15 days is the maximum time they can survive without drinking water or any kind of liquid.

When camels don't have any type of food, automatically their bodies resort to the stored fat that they have inside their humps which has been mostly confused as water, once the reserves inside the camels become exhausted, their humps become deflated and fall to their sides as if they had air inside, but this changes once the camels are eat and drink again, mainly because the water is the most important liquid inside their bodies, it is the most fundamental liquid for their humps to remain upright and firm.

A camel that has not been drinking water can drink up to 135 l in the short time of 13 minutes. The fact that the camels had water inside their bodies is due to the superstition that since they were animals resistant to extreme temperatures and situations that a human could not withstand, these animals carried water inside their humps to survive.

In the reality, with the passage of time, years have evolved these mammals to very extreme conditions of heat, while a human would die when losing 12% of water inside their bodies, the camels can lose up to 40% of water in their bodies.

All this in camels is due to the fact that their interior kidneys are able to concentrate urine considerably in order to avoid water loss in their bodies, however they also have red blood cells or oval blood cells so that they are easily transported through their bodies and organisms; even when the blood becomes thick due to dehydration of their bodies or extreme temperatures, these blood cells are in charge of systematically releasing stored water as their body loses fluids.

Also the camels' fur allows them to insulate themselves from the heat they are going through or the heat of the environment, preventing them from sweating.

Also, the mucous structure of the camels' nose is 100 times bigger than the one humans have, which enables the camels to retain 66% of the humidity in the air. Isn't that awesome? Absolutely, their bodies are made to stand ANY heat.

All these characteristics within camels have been the main culprits for the myth that camels have water inside their bodies and store it to survive as long as they are able to withstand high heat temperatures in the desert or in any environmental zone.

Without a doubt, camels are considered warrior animals that can survive any kind of temperature that a human could not, but they still have limits, they must drink and eat properly in order to survive high temperatures and keep their humps high, otherwise they deflate and then take a long time to get them back up again.

If a camel does not drink properly for a limit of time, they will go into extreme dehydration and their humps will deflate, which can be quite dangerous for them as they must always keep their humps in their normal state, when they deflate and no longer have fat reserves, they can become depressed and some even die from the same dehydration or lack of food.

Morocco, Sahara.

Food and hydration are extremely important to keep them healthy because camels, despite being resistant to extremely high temperatures, are not machines but animals, and need even more hydration than any human or animal.