What Do Camels Eat

what do camels eat

Camels are remarkable creatures, and there are two major types. On any given day in the desert, you might find one-hump or two-hump camels. The main home for two-hump camels is Central Asia, and you can find the one-humps in the Middle East.

Camels are herbivorous creatures and have adapted to eating cactus. They can also eat a wide variety of other thorny plants. The inside of a camel’s mouth contains a special lining, which resembles leather.

It’s this leather-like lining that protects the camel’s mouth from getting damaged when eating cactuses and other thorny plants. Camels have adapted to eat thorny plants, but they have no problem consuming poplar and willow.

The camel is a grazer, so he’s kind of similar to goats or sheep. Camels will eat virtually any vegetation that crosses their path. The camel can eat woody twigs, leaves and soft vegetable matter. Farmed camels are actually fed oats, grass, wheat and dates.

What Do Camels Eat In The Desert?

A desert camel loves eating all sorts of plants. Also known as the Arabian camel, these creatures are known best for their massive, leathery mouth.

The leathery lining provides enough protection to let Arabian camels eat virtually any type of desert vegetation. They can even eat some types of plants that other camels must stay far away from.

Camels have three stomach compartments, so they’re able to digest their food several times and get the most out of every bite. They’re also extremely efficient with water and can get the moisture they need from the plants that they eat.

Bactrian Camels

The Bactrian camel can only be found in the Gobi desert, which straddles Mongolia and China. In the wild, these camels enjoy eating many types of plants. Some of their favorite foods are dry, thorny plants, which aren’t eaten by most other animals.

The lumps on these camel’s backs are used for storing fat, which is converted into energy when food and water supplies are low.

Camels in the Zoo

If you’ve ever seen a camel in the zoo, then you probably wondered what it eats. When living in a zoo setting, camels tend to eat dry grains and hay.

On average, they’ll eat about 3.5 kilograms per day. Although these are some of the typical foods, it’s not uncommon for zookeepers to give their camels several different types of treats.

Dromedary Camels

These hairy creatures are herbivorous, so they enjoy eating dry grasses, thorny plants and saltbush. However, they’re known to eat virtually any type of plant that grows in the desert, and they have the chewing hardware to do so.

Dromedaries are viewed as browsers, and it’s not uncommon for their diet to consist of forbs and shrubs, which can account for nearly 70 percent of their diet.

Camel Diet Rules

You’ve probably seen them in a few Disney movies. Camels might be boring to ride, but they can certainly get you across the desert. Like sheep, camels prefer to graze, so they’re known to eat all throughout the day.

It might also be interesting to know that camels are ruminants, so they eat food, regurgitate it and chew it a final time before they finally end up swallowing it.

These animals live in the desert, so they’re constantly moving to find their next food source. The available food sources in the desert tend to be quite scarce, so the camel must stay mobile to continue grazing on whatever food he can find.