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General about camel

The Water Economy and the Camel

Camel is the Livestock of Choice in Water Footprint

To elaborate it easy to read and understandable, I shall be providing the salient features of the camels with regards to the water economy in the following lines.

  1. Camel can reach scarce water points in the desert or remote areas, as the camel has a well-developed power to smell especially water sources. They can smell water 50 miles away by smelling geosmin which is a fragrance produced by streptomyces species growing in the dumped soil.
  2. Camel tolerates a very high level of dehydration. Even in very hot conditions with no access to water, the camel may drink only every 8-10 days and may lose up to 30% of its live body weight through dehydration. Other animals die at 10% live body loss through dehydration.
  3. They can live without water for 3 days in summer and 7 days in winter. However, there are some examples of this animal remaining without water for 20 to 40 days. After 40 days the camel goes blind due to excessive dehydration.
  4. The camel can drink up to 190 liters of water in 10-15 minutes which is a very uncommon phenomenon. Oval shape erythrocytes (instead of round in other animals) expand up to 200% their normal size when the camel drink a huge quantity of water.
  5. Camel urinates less than 1 liter of urine per day in hot summer days, especially in water scarcity. In the period of extreme water shortage, the camel urinates a semi-liquid substance like syrup. You may notice the blackish thick layer on the thighs of the camels in summer.
  6. Camel can store water in its all body compartments (intracellular, extracellular, blood and digestive tract, etc). Every organ has the extraordinary capacity to store water.
  7. A camel can vary body temperature up to 6.7 Cº, having a great endurance power to stand the scorching heat. Camel even absorbs heat in the day time by increasing body temperature and dissipates it in the cool night, this way the camel conserves water.
  8. The well-developed hump is full of fat that serves as a store of water and food at the time of starvation. The fat of hump gets dissolved gradually during starvation and collects again at the time the camel gets adequate water and feed. When the fats are converting into energy and double the amount of water it produces.
  9. Camel consumes a very lesser quantity of water per unit milk production. The camel requires 4-6 liters of water/liter milk production and for the same requirements in the same environment, the dairy cow needs 8-12 times more water.

Camel is the king of the dryness and desert

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