Camels, and the need for thermoregulation…
I am writing this post, in order to show the ability of some species to use everything possible in order to adjust to the conditions of the areas in which they live..
Camels (Camelus dromedarious Linnaeus, 1758) live in places with really hot and dry climate, which also means low water availability, mostly deserts are the places where they are found. More specifically they are found in areas like Northern Africa, Arabia and Middle East.
Due to the extreme weather conditions and the limited water, camels need to react in order to be able to survive in such places; that is why they have several mechanisms that regulate their body temperature.
The procedure of thermoregulating!
Camels usually maintain a body temperature of 41 Celsius during the day, and almost 34 Celsius over the night. Temperature regulation in camels has a lot to do with the water preservation, that is why camels do not sweat till a high temperature is reached ( in order to preserve water). When they finally sweat, the water evaporates right from their skin, resulting into efficiently cooling their body. It is important to say that camels are the only mammals that can withstand a loss of 25% of body weight due to sweating, while others do not survive after 3-4%. Moreover, camels have very thick coats. These coats are used for both reflecting the sun light, and therefore the temperature, as well as preventing the camel from the temperature that comes from the sand, that is really hot. Furthermore, it is a fact that camels have very long legs, something that is not random, as it is also used to hold their body far from the hot sand, as well as enables air to flow under their body and therefore cool them..
After the information above, it is clear that camels use such mechanisms to thermoregulate as well. As discussed in class and presented in the book, all of the strategies that camels use to thermoregulate can be fitted in the equation that shows the heat gain and loss. The fact that they have thick coat keeps the gain of temperature through radiation low, while the fact that their legs keep them away from the sun shows that the heat gained from the conduction is low, as well as the flow of air under them fits to the cooling from convection.
Generally, camels are the best designed for desert climates animals, able to adjust and perform wonderfully under such difficult conditions…
Brent Huffman, http://www.ultimateungulate.com
Sandy Cosser, Temperature Regulation, http://ezinearticles.com/?Temperature-Regulation&id=760742
Catalogue of life, 2nd October 2010 from http://www.catalogueoflife.org/col/details/species/id/6903804/source/tree