Zoology: How the Camel Conquers Thirst

Myths about the camel and its thirst-resistance are older than the Sphinx—and almost as durable. Well into the modern age of science, men accepted the notion that the evil-tempered animal could store a two-week supply of water in its humpor in a great, cistern-like stomach. The hump theory was the first to be discarded as so much humph. What the camel carries on its back is a reserve of fatty tissue to be consumed when the rest of the camel runs out of fuel. The story about the parched Bedouin who slaughtered his favorite camel...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!