Desert camel’s – Thermoregulation   Leave a comment

The purpose of this post is to understand some of the remarkable adaptations of a specific animal in comparison to its environment.

Camelus Dromedarius

“A camel draws on a whole range of adaptations so that it can travel hundreds of miles, over several days, without stopping to drink”.

Arabian camel’s scientific name is Camelus Dromedarius. The environment that camels live is very hot and dry without plants and water, the common deserts. Deserts cover about 1/5 of the Earth’s surface, and the regular hot and dry deserts are near the Tropic of Cancer or the Tropic of Capricorn. The latitude range is 15-28° north and south of the equator. The maximum temperature in a hot desert is about 45 to 49ο C with little rainfall. It is important to mention that, according to a source that I found on the internet, plants in this area “have adapted to the lack of water by using dew for moisture and taking in water through their leaves and stems”.

Desert camels are unique animals because of their ability to travel long distances under the hot sun without sweating. Although camels do not store any extra water they store in hump fat that helps them to provide energy, so “as the fat is burned, water is produced as one of the byproducts.  This extra water enters the camel’s bloodstream to add to its water supply”. Camels do not sweat, so they conserve water. Also their heavy fur helps them to maintain their body temperature (34ο C to 40ο C) by limiting the amount of heat gained in the body. And I think that they don’t sweat so much as we do because their blood volume stays more or less steady. One last thing that plays significant role and helps camels to conserve water is the nasal passages. Nasal passages don’t allow much water to escape every time they breathe.

References:

http://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/camels/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/species/Dromedary

http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/desert.htm

http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/desert_climate_page.htm

http://www.google.gr

Molles, M.C. (2010). Ecology. Concepts and Applications. 5th Ed. NY: McGraw-Hill.

 

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Posted October 21, 2010 by ac2004 in Assignment 4

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