Curiosities: Why do camels have humps and what is inside of them?

By Eddy Montilla.

Those camels you can see in a zoo have for granted the food and water they need to live. In return, they have to pay a high price: To live in captivity. Except for them, most camels live in desert areas where food and water are difficult to find. How difficult? It might take days until camels can find something to eat and water to drink. Since these animals can drink an enormous amount of water, many people think that their humps are full of this liquid, which is not the right answer.

The camel’s humps are like a small mound of fat that are used as food when this animal is in a precarious position for the lack of it. This fat can reach up to 80 pounds (36 kilograms). When a camel uses its hump (or humps, depending on what kind of camel is) as supply food, the hump will change its size and will shrink until the camel can store fat there again by eating almost every type of vegetation (you cannot choose when you are in a desert!): dried leaves and dried grass, thorny vegetation, salt bush, etc., and keep walking even for weeks in cool weather.

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