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  • Did you know that camels used to live in the Arctic tundra?


  • Yes, camels walking around on ice and snow.


  • It's true.


  • In 2013, scientists announced they'd discovered mummified leg bones on Ellesmere Island, which belonged to the ancestors of modern day one-and two-humped camels.

    2013 年,科學家宣布他們在埃爾斯米爾島上,發現屬於現代單峰和雙峰駱駝祖先的乾化的腿骨頭。

  • In fact, enduring the frigid tundra is how scientists think camels got their iconic hump in the first place, because what's inside helped them survive in an age when many other animals were wiped out.


  • What's inside a camel's hump is fat, and a lot of people think it's water.


  • But it's certainly not; it's fat, and it nourishes them when they're on long journeys.


  • That's right, fat.


  • Each hump can store up to 36 kilograms of it, which can sustain the camel for weeks or even months without food.

    一個駝峰可以儲存到 36 公斤的脂肪,足夠支撐牠們數週甚至數月不進食。

  • And that sort of adaptation was especially important 3.5 million years ago, during the middle of an ice age, when the ancestors to modern camels were hanging out in the arctic tundra.

    而在 350 萬年前的冰河時代中期,現代駱駝的祖先的那種適應力於北極凍原活動時可謂極其重要。

  • Talking about the Ice Age, when a lot of mammals were killed during that time.


  • And yet the camel managed to survive by developing this emergency food system, if you like: the hump.


  • Eventually, camels migrated across the Bering Strait into regions of Asia and Africa, where the fat inside their humps helped them adapt yet again.


  • This time, to the blistering hot temperatures of deserts like the Gobi and Sahara.


  • You see, camels are one of the only animals in the world that store all their fat in one spot.


  • And that's useful for keeping cool in a hot climate because heat can escape faster from the rest of their body, which helps them maintain a lower body temperature.


  • Compare that to other mammals, like humans, who store fat all over, making it a lot harder to stay cool.


  • Today, camels still use the fat in their humps as a food reserve, but they're not the only ones.


  • In extreme circumstances, the Turkana tribe in Kenya, for example, will eat camel fat to survive.

    在一些極端的環境裡,例如肯亞的 Turkana 部落,他們會食用駱駝的脂肪以生存。

  • They suffer a lot from periods of extreme drought, and I have seen these people.


  • They've been very, very short on food, and this is difficult to believe, but it's true: slit open the top of a camel's hump, take out the fat for their own consumption, and then put the top of the hump back on again.


  • But don't worry, the camel makes a full recovery, and instances are rare.


  • But this practice has started to generate some buzz around camel fat as a new superfood.


  • Turns out, camel fat is loaded with fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.


  • Desert Farms, a company that sells camel fat, says that just 1 tablespoon contains 40% of your daily vitamin B12 needs and three times the amount of oleic acid than coconut oil, a superfood staple.

    Desert Farms,一間販賣駱駝脂肪的公司表示,光是一餐匙的脂肪就包含一個人一天所需百分之四十的 B12 維生素,並且是椰子油這種基本的超級食物中所含有的油酸的三倍。

  • And since all that nutritious fat is what fills the hump out, when a camel fasts for long periods, its hump can actually go limp.


  • The humps gradually diminish in size.


  • If it's been in a very harsh environment, they go completely limp and flop over the side of the camel's backbone.


  • Now, since we know that fat is what makes up the hump instead of water, that got us wondering: How do camels stay hydrated in such dry climates?


  • Well, they have unique blood cells that run throughout their entire body, including a few in the hump itself.


  • These blood cells are extremely elastic, perfect for holding a lot of water.


  • Camels can drink up to 115 liters in about 10 minutes, expanding the cells up to 240 percent in the process.

    駱駝可以在 10 分鐘內喝入 115 公升的水,並在過程中使紅血球擴張至百分之 240。

  • There are capillaries throughout its body, and when it has a drink, it drinks and drinks and drinks, and it swells up, and it looks as though it's pregnant.


  • If that's not impressive enough, the wild camel of China has even been known to survive on salt water.


  • So, whether it's surviving the harsh desert heat, weeks without food and water, or even the Canadian Arctic, the camel is one of the best adapters in the animal kingdom.


  • And that's in large part thanks to its iconic hump.


Did you know that camels used to live in the Arctic tundra?


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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 駱駝 脂肪 紅血球 生存 動物 食物

【動物】駱駝曾經是極地動物?!一起來了解神奇的駝峰! (What's Inside A Camel Hump?)

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    Nina 發佈於 2019 年 12 月 18 日