Ships of the Desert
Ships of the Desert
by Lynn Wallace
People have often nicknamed the Arabian camel a "ship of the desert." In every way its body appears to adapt itself particularly to this harsh climate. In His infinite wisdom God knew just the right design for desert life.
These astonishing "ships" can give up either food or water for up to two weeks. How can a camel exist without water? It doesn't require water in the winter months because its body doesn't consume it in regulating temperature.
A camel drinks twenty-one gallons of water or more in about ten minutes. Then its body does not demand water for several days. It can also tolerate water too salty and bad tasting for other animals.
The camel's body has special equipment which prevents it from losing water from the blood. Thus it loses water from the body tissues alone. This enables it to lose twice up to 30% of its body water without ill effects.
Scientists have discovered that its hump contains fat, not water This provision by its Creator enables the camel to subsist on scant desert vegetation for up to two weeks without harm.
Most animals have a layer of fat under their skin to keep them warm. The camel needs to keep cool, not warm. With its fat in one place the camel can stay cooler in warm climates.
The camelís body temperature can vary as much as twelve degrees in one day. When the animal arises, its temperature reads 88oF. At the end of a hot day its temperature reaches 104oF. At its temperature goes back down.
Its thick shaggy coat keeps water from evaporating. It also keeps the camel's body from absorbing as much heat from the atmosphere. In these ways its hair helps keep him cool.
When a desert storm arises, the camel waits out the storm. It kneels down and stretches out its long neck against the earth. Then this animal closes its nostrils with the special muscles God provided. It closes its eyes. A double row of long interlocking lashes protects them. They also serve as shades from the brilliant desert sun. Thick fleshy pads protect its knees and its chest from the sand.
Because the camel can travel so well in the desert and go for days without water and with sparse vegetation, the Arabs find him ideal for transportation.
Even its long legs serve a purpose. They hold its body away from the scorching hot sands and keep the camel cooler.
People named the camel "ship of the desert" because God fashioned it so well for desert life. Many have pointed to God's wisdom in the unique structure of these "ships."
This article was printed in Itís Godís World on October 15, 1993. © 1993, Lynn Wallace.
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