Why Does the Camel Have a Hump?

The camel is called “the ship of the desert”, and there is good reason for it. Just a ship is constructed to deal with all the problem that arise from being in the water, so a camel is “constructed” to live and travel and survive in the desert.

Where other animals would die from lack of food and water, the camel gets along very nicely. It carries its food and water with it! For days before it starts on  a journey, a camel does nothing but eat and drink.

It eats so much that a hump of fat, maybe weighing as much as 45 kilograms, rises on its back. So the camel’s hump is a storage place for fat, which the camel’s body will use up during the journey. The camel also has little flask-shaped bags which line the walls of its stomach.


This is where it stores water. With such provisions, a camel is able to travel several days between water holes without drinking, and for an even longer time with no nourishment except what it draws from the fat of its hump. 

At the end of a long jouney, the hump will have lost its firm shape and will flop to one side in flabby folds. The camel will then have to rest for a long time to recover its strength.
Did you know that the camel is one of man’s oldest servants and has been used by man in Egypt for more than 3,000 years?

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