The Amazing Camel
Everything you ever wanted to know about the amazing camel (and more probably).
Naturally, the water I swallow first goes into my stomach.
There thirsty blood vessels absorb and carry it to every part of my body.
Scientists have tested my stomach and found it empty
Ten minutes after I've drunk twenty gallons.
In an eight hour day I can carry a four hundred pound load
A hundred miles across a hot, dry desert
And not stop once for a drink or something to eat.
In fact, I've been known to go eight days without a drink,
I lose 227 pounds, my ribs show through my skin,
And I look terribly skinny.
But I feel great!
I look thin because the billions of cells lose their water.
They're no longer fat. They're flat.
Normally my blood contains 94 percent water, just like yours.
But when I can't find any water to drink,
The heat of the sun gradually robs a little water out of my blood.
Scientists have found that my blood can lose up to
40 percent of its water, and I'm still healthy.
Doctors say human blood has to stay very close to 94 percent water.
If you lose 5 percent of it, you can't see anymore; 10 percent, you can't
And your heart can't pump the thick stuff. It stops, and you're dead.
Scientists say my blood is different.
My red cells are elongated. Yours are round.
Maybe that's what makes the difference
This proves I'm designed for the desert,
Or the desert is designed for me.
After I find a water hole,
I'll drink for about ten minutes
In that short time my body fills out nicely, I don't look skinny anymore,
And I gain back the 227 pounds I lost.
Even though I lose a lot of water on the desert,
My body conserves it too.
I have a specially designed nose that saves water.
When I exhale, I don't lose much.
And absorbs it in my nasal membranes.
Tiny blood vessels in those membranes take that back into my blood.
How's that for a recycling system? Pretty cool, isn't it.
It works because my nose is cool.
My cool nose changes that warm moisture in the air
From my lungs into water.
But how does my nose get cool?
I breath in hot dry desert air,
And it goes through my wet nasal passages.
This produces a cooling effect, and my nose stays as much as
18 degrees cooler than the rest of my body.
I love to travel the beautiful sand dunes.
It's really quite easy, because my feet are
specially engineered sand shoes.
Each foot has two long, bony toes with tough, leathery skin
between my soles, a little like webbed feet.
They won't let me sink into the soft, drifting sand.
This is good, because often my master wants me to carry him
one hundred miles across the desert in just one day.
(I troop about ten miles per hour.)
Sometimes a big windstorm comes out of nowhere,
bringing flying sand with it.
My nostrils have special muscles
that close the openings, keeping sand out of my nose
but still allowing me enough air to breathe.
My eyelashes arch down over my eyes like screens,
keeping the sand and sun out but still letting me see clearly.
If a grain of sand slips through and gets in my eye,
wipes the sand off my eyeball just like a windshield wiper.
Some people think I'm conceited because I always walk around
with my head held high and my nose in the air.
But that's just because of the way I'm made.
My eyebrows are so thick and bushy
I have to hold my head high to peek out from underneath them.
I'm glad I have them though.
They shade my eyes from the bright sun.
Not only am I their best form of transportation,
but I'm also their grocery store.
Mrs. Camel gives very rich milk
that people make into butter and cheese.
A few young camels are used for beef,
but I don't like to talk about that.
For a long time we camels have been called
the "ships of the desert" because of the way
we sway from side to side when we trot.
Some of our riders get seasick.
I sway from side to side because of the way my legs work.
elevating that side.
My "left, right left, right" motion makes my rider feel like
he is in a rocking chair going sideways.
special knee pads started to grow on my front legs.
They help me when I lower my 1000 pounds to the ground.
my knees would soon become sore and infected,
and I could never lie down.
I'd die of exhaustion.
By the way,
I don't get thick knee pads because I fall on my knees.
I fall on my knees because I already have these tough pads.