Some Pretty Strange Camel Facts You Must Know About

The average life expectancy of a camel is 40 to 50 years and a full grown adult camel stands about 6 feet at the shoulder and 7 feet at the hump. Camels can run up to 40 mph in short bursts and sustain speeds of up to 25 mph. Dromedaries, the kind we have here in Cabo, weigh between  600 lbs and 1300 lbs. Those are the one humpers. Speaking of humpers, the male dromedary camel has in its throat an organ called a dulla, a large, inflatable sac he pushes out of his mouth when he’s courting. It resembles a long, swollen, pink tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth, which apparently the female camel finds attractive, as there are about 14 million camels in the world. 90% are dromedaries.

Camels do not store water in their humps as many believe. The humps are actually reservoirs of fatty tissue. Concentrating body fat in their humps minimizes the insulating effect fat would have if distributed over the rest of their bodies, helping camels survive in hot climates. Camels have a series of physiological adaptations that allow them to withstand up to a month without water. A 1,300 lb camel can drink about 55 gallons of water in three minutes flat.

The camel’s thick coat is one of its many adaptations that allow it to survive in the desert. They are able to withstand changes in body temperature and water consumption that would kill most other animals, not to mention you and me.  The coat insulates them from the intense heat radiated from desert sand; So much so that a shorn camel must sweat 50% more to avoid overheating. During the summer the coat becomes lighter in color, reflecting light as well as helping avoid sunburn. The camel’s long legs help by keeping its body farther from the ground, which can heat up to 158 °F in the desert. This is really cool: Dromedaries have a pad of thick tissue over the sternum and when the animal lies down on its chest, that fat raises the body from the hot surface of the sand and allows cooling air to pass under the body.

Camels’ mouths have a thick leathery lining allowing them to chew thorny desert plants without getting hurt. Long eyelashes and ear hairs, together with nostrils that can close, form a barrier against sand. If sand does get lodged in their eyes, they can dislodge it using their transparent third eyelid ! The camels’ gait and really wide feet help them move without sinking into the sand.

The kidneys and intestines of a camel are very efficient at reabsorbing water, and they have no less than three stomachs, and they toss their food from tummy to tummy.  Camel urine comes out as a thick syrup, and camel poop is so dry it doesn’t require drying when the Bedouins use them to fuel their fires.

Now. Regarding this urine that comes out as a thick syrup: Camel jockeys drink it because Muhammand said it was good stuff for Muslims. Not only do they drink it, but they wash their hair in camel pee. Camel urine is sold as traditional medicine in shops in Saudi Arabia. Muslim scholar Muhammand Al-Munajjid recommends camel urine as beneficial to curing certain diseases And nowadays King Abdulaziz University researcher Dr. Faten Abdel-Rajman Khorshid believes cancer and other diseases could be treated with camel urine as recommended by the Prophet Muhammand. (Who died about 1400 years ago. Did they have cancer back in those days?)

Camel urine is the only urine which is permitted to be drunk according to the teachings of Sunni Islam. However the World Health Organization believes the consumption of camel urine may be a factor in the spread of the MERS virus in Saudi Arabia. Party poops.

Arab American University Professor Bashar Saad believes dandruff, scalp ailments sores, and wounds should be treated with camel urine because this practice is approved of and promoted by Islam since it was recommended by the prophet Muhammand. Yeah, the guy who died in 632 AD. He must have been a scientist in addition to being a prophet.

But wait! There’s more! Camel urine is believed by Muslims to help treat hair loss, insect bites, asthma, infections, and of course, everyone’s favorite, camel urine can boost Abdul’s libido. Seems like a failing libido might also be improved if only Fatima would lose the
burka.