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 What's Inside A Camel Hump?
 이** (jean)



A camel's hump doesn't contain water or bone… it’s fat. And each hump can 

store up to 36 kilograms of it that can sustain the camel for weeks or even 

months without food. The fat is incredibly nutritious and people are even starting

to use it in cooking for its health benefits. But the camel didn't actually get its hump

in the desert. In fact, Camels originated in the Canadian Arctic millions of years ago. 

And they used their fatty humps to survive long winters.



Did you know that camels used to live in the Arctic tundra? Yes, camels! 

Walking around on ice and snow. It's true. In 2013, scientists announced 

they'd discovered mummified leg bones on Ellesmere Island, which belonged

to the ancestors of modern-day one- and two-humped camels. In fact, 

enduring the frigid tundra is how scientists think camels got their iconic hump

in the first place, because what's inside helped them survive in an age when 

many other animals were wiped out. John Hare: What's inside a camel's hump

is fat, and a lot of people think it's water. But it's certainly not; it's fat, and it

nourishes them when they're on long journeys. 

Narrator: That's right, fat.Each hump can store up to 36 kilograms of it, 

which can sustain the camel for weeks or even months without food. 

And that sort of adaptation was especially important 3.5 million years ago, 

during the middle of an ice age, when the ancestors to modern camels were 

hanging out in the Arctic tundra. 

Hare: Talking about the Ice Age, when a lot of mammals were killed during 

that time, and yet the camel managed to survive by developing this emergency

food system, if you like: the hump. 

Narrator: Eventually, camels migrated across the Bering Strait into regions of 

Asia and Africa, where the fat inside their humps helped them adapt yet again.

This time, to the blistering-hot temperatures of deserts like the Gobi and Sahara.

You see, camels are one of the only animals in the world that store all their fat

in one spot. And that's useful for keeping cool in a hot climate because heat 

can escape faster from the rest of their body, which helps them maintain 

a lower body temperature.Compare that to other mammals, like humans, 

who store fat all over, making it a lot harder to stay cool. Today, camels still 

use the fat in their humps as a food reserve, but they're not the only ones. 

In extreme circumstances, the Turkana tribe in Kenya, for example, will eat 

camel fat to survive. 

Hare: They suffer a lot from periods of extreme drought, and I have seen 

these people, they've been very, very short on food, and this is difficult to

believe, but it's true, slit open the top of a camel's hump, take out the fat 

for their own consumption, and then put the top of the hump back on again. 

Narrator: But don't worry, the camel makes a full recovery, and instances 

are rare. But this practice has started to generate some buzz around camel fat

as a new superfood. Turns out, camel fat is loaded with fatty acids, vitamins, 

and minerals. Desert Farms, a company that sells camel fat, says that just 1 

tablespoon contains 40% of your daily vitamin B12 needs and three times the 

amount of oleic acid than coconut oil, a superfood staple. And since all that 

nutritious fat is what fills the hump out, when a camel fasts for long periods,

its hump can actually go limp. Hare: The humps gradually diminish in size. 

If it's been in a very harsh environment, they go completely limp and flop over 

the side of the camel's backbone. 

Narrator: Now, since we know that fat is what makes up the hump instead of 

water, that got us 

wondering: How do camels stay hydrated in such dry climates?

Well, they have unique blood cells that run throughout their entire body, 

including a few in the hump itself.These blood cells are extremely elastic, 

perfect for holding a lot of water.Camels can drink up to 115 liters in about 

10 minutes, expanding the cells up to 240% in the process. 

Hare: There are capillaries throughout its body,and when it has a drink,

it drinks and drinks and drinks, and it swells up, and it looks as though

it's pregnant. Narrator: If that's not impressive enough, the wild camel of 

China has even been known to survive on salt water. So,whether it's surviving

the harsh desert heat, weeks without food and water,or even the Canadian 

Arctic, the camel is one of the best adapters in the animal kingdom, 

and that's in large part thanks to its iconic hump. 



1. Where do camels live? Where did they use to live? 

2. What's inside a camel's hump?

3. Explain how do camels stay hydrated.

2021-02-09 오후 1:01:04
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