OCT 13, 2019 8:11 AM PDT

Why Do Camels Have Humps?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Camels are predominantly known for the humps that appear on their backs, and believe it or not, those humps are filled with body fat. Some camels sport just one hump on their back, while others have two; but regardless of the number of humps a camel has, most scientists agree that those humps serve the same purpose to the animal.

To better understand the purpose of a camel’s hump, one need only take a closer look at the animal’s ancestral history. It wasn’t long ago that researchers discovered camel ancestor bones in the Arctic tundra, and based on this information, scientists have speculated that the fat-filled hump once served as a source of nourishment when food availability was scarce.

Even in modern day, camels often endure long and foodless journeys, and the fat in a camel’s hump can purportedly enable the animal to survive weeks or even months without grabbing a single bite to eat.

Today, camels exist in scalding hot deserts, and the hump is thought to help them survive there too. The hump works double-duty, with the fat continuously nourishing the animal and acting as an insulative layer that keeps the internal body temperature lower while trekking in a desert’s direct sunlight.

Indeed, these animals seem to be able to survive in even the most extreme environments, and they have their famous hump to thank for that.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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