| Body temperatures of animals in hot environments such as the
desert vary with the amount of insulation upon the surface of the animal
(6). The body temperature of an animal does
not increase as high as one might think when there is a barrier that prevents
excessive heat gain. An example of this is how light clothes worn by humans
can create an insulation layer and actually reduce the amount of heat
gain (6). The camel has a similar heat barrier
with its coat of fur. The thick fur of the camel can significantly reduce
the amount of environmental heat gained, however there is a limit on how
thick the fur can be and still be effective (6).
The layer of fur can not be too thick or the metabolic heat of the camel
would not be able to dissipate (6).
The camel actually possesses a double coat for the various seasons. In the spring, the camel will shed the top layer of it fur as it is merely a winter coat. A thick, dense layer of fur remains on the camel for the spring and summer months (12). One can infer that the coat of fur serves dual purposes. In the hot months, the single layer of fur is thick enough to prevent an excessive amount of external heat transfer. However, in the cooler months the camel uses its winter coat to prevent heat loss to the environment (12). The fur of a camel may seem rather insignificant at first, but in reality it plays a major role in the thermoregulation and water control in the camel.
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