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No, a camel's hump is not filled with water, it is a giant mound of fat. In a healthy, well-fed camel, the hump can weigh as much as 80 pounds! Human beings and most animals store their fat mixed in with muscle tissue or in a layer right beneath the skin. Camels are the only animals with a hump.
The hump allows a camel to survive an extremely long time (up to two weeks) without food if need be. Because camels typically live in the desert, where food can be scarce for long stretches, this is important.
Other camel facts:
- An adult camel weighs between 700 and 1,500 pounds (318 to 680 kg) and is up to 7 feet (2.1 meters) tall.
- Camels can live to be up to 50 years old.
- Camels gestate about 11 months and give birth to one calf.
- A male reaches maturity in five years, a female in three to four years.
- Camels actually have three eyelids! Two of them have lashes, and the third is thin.
- A camel can close its nostrils.
- A camel, like a goat, will eat almost anything.
- Pack camels can carry loads of 400 pounds 25 miles (181 kg 40 km) in a day.
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