How do camels forage in the desert?
Flexible lips allow camels to graze on ground-covered grass and thorny plants to survive in the harsh desert.
All three species of camels – Camelus dromedarius, Camelus bactrianus and Camelus ferus – have evolved to be able to live in the desert. In addition to a hump or two on their backs filled with nutritious fat, which acts as an energy store, they also have specialized lips to make the most of a rare food source in extreme environments.
The camel’s upper lip is split in half, with each halve of the ability to move independently, allowing the animal to graze on short grasses that grow close to the ground, which is very important in the desert, where everything is slow growing.
Camel lips have thick but supple skin that allows them to break and eat thorny plants. In addition, the inside of the creature’s mouth has papillae that act as a lining to prevent sharp spikes, making it easier for the camel to chew and swallow food, according to London’s Natural History Museum.
In general, camels eat grass, leaves, and branches from any plant species in the desert, including hay and salt-tolerant shrubs. So what happens next after they swallow their food?
The camel’s stomach has 3 to 4 compartments. Food is partially broken down in the first two compartments before being regurgitated to be chewed again. On the second swallow, the food enters the other one or two stomach compartments, where it is digested by bacteria.
Another amazing possibility is that camels can survive for more than a week without water and for months without grazing, so they can wander for days on an empty stomach in search of food, according to PBS. .
Doan Duong (Follow Live Science)
at Blogtuan.info – Source: vnexpress.net – Read the original article here