Why do camels spit?
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Q:

Why do camels spit?

A:

Quick Answer

Camels spit in order to surprise, distract or generally ward off a threat. The “spit” from a camel is more than just saliva. It is mixed with the camel’s stomach contents as well.

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Full Answer

Most people think of spraying saliva when they think of spitting. But saliva is a liquid, and it does not weigh very much. In order to fire the projectile further and have it do more, camels mix whatever is in their stomach with saliva. This is not something camel’s do often, and it is usually done only when camels are agitated. According to the San Diego Zoo site, camel spit is more like vomit than actual spit. Camels use it against predators to warn them off. Wolves are the main predators that camels must protect themselves from. It is possible to tell when a camel is about to spit by paying attention to its cheeks. Camel cheeks bulge and fill up right before they spit. The idea behind this behavior is to try to keep other animals or people away from them in order to avoid the need to fight them at all in the first place. Other animals engage in similar behavior. For example, cats hiss to try to keep animals away.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where do camels live?

    A:

    Arabian or dromedary camels, which have one hump, live in Northern Africa, Southwestern Asia and Australia, while Bactrian camels, which have two humps, lives in Mongolia and China. Most of the world's camels are domesticated and live with nomadic people in desert regions. The largest camel population is on the Horn of Africa in the countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.

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  • Q:

    How do camels protect themselves from predators?

    A:

    Camels protect themselves from predators by regurgitating their stomach contents mixed with saliva in a projectile fashion. This practice is commonly referred to as spitting. According to the San Diego Zoo, when camels spit, it is meant to startle and distract potential predators.

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    How do camels survive in the desert?

    A:

    Camels are able to survive in the desert because their humps store fat that can provide energy for up to several weeks. Camels can survive without water for several weeks because their stomach lining is designed to store ample amounts of water. A camel can drink up to 40 gallons of water at a time.

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    How are camels adapted to their habitat?

    A:

    Camels are adapted to a desert habitat by their feet, hump, fur and eyelashes. For instance, a camel's large, flat feet spreads out their weight so that they can walk on soft sand.

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