Monday, December 6, 2010

TOPIC DISCUSSION: Camels and their Kidney!

Ever wondered what the camel does differently than us to survive in the hot environment? The camel does have a special kidney and a special GI tract.The camel's kidney actually can concentrate the urine more than sea water but less than a dessert rat.  Since the camel can concentrate the urine more than sea water, salty water intake won't harm the animal. Investigators have studied the  structure of the camelian kidney to discover whether or not the anatomical features necessary for producing a highly concentrated urine were present or not. The relative thickness of the medulla was calculated in the camelian kidney as it has been demonstrated that this thickness has a direct relationship with the ability to produce a highly concentrated urine.  A relative thickness of the medulla is a good measure of the length of the loop of Henle which is an indicator of urine concentration. The thickness reported in camels was 7.89 in comparison to the value of 8.5 in kangaroo rats, much more than humans.
Also, what happens if you haven't drunk water in 5 days and all of a sudden you re hydrate. A dehydrated camel can replace water within minutes of drinking, and some of this water is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. With water in the bloodstream, ADH declines and the kidney will return to normal renal function within 30 minutes of drinking. Not only does the camel adopt to scarce water but the kidney can also adopt to rapid dehydration and not lead to demylination of the brain.
What are some other features this animal has to store water for long periods of time?
Another interesting part of the camel physiology is that they have 3 stomachs, acting as storage( 1.5 gallons per stomach) for the water and hence when water is not available, they can slowly replenish the system. The camel stores water in its blood stream, an interesting physiological process. Capable of losing forty percent of its body's weight before becoming distressed, it is able to go five to seven days before having to drink. The amount it drinks when water is available would cause severe problems in most animals, up to 21 gallons in about 10 minutes.The camel's mouth, stomach, and teeth have all developed to allow it to eat plants that are not palatable to other desert animals.Contrary to popular myth, the camels don't store water in their humps, its full of fat for food storage.
Some of the rodents in the dessert can actually concentrate up to 7500mOsm.
Fun things you can learn from other animals who adopt better to water problems


  1. Very nice post. the size of the inner medulla is important as well in angiotensin receptor deficient mice (who have a defect in urinary concentrating, thus shorter papilla), however mice treated with ARB's recapitulate the phenotype.

  2. tell me the size & weight of Camels Kidney....

  3. Cool post! Just learned something new!!! Old post but just found this


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