Discover which animal can last longer without water than camels.
Camels can last several weeks in the desert without water. But did you know that other animals have this remarkable ability? The camel may get all the publicity (it must be the humps), but both the giraffe and the kangaroo rat can go as long -- if not longer -- without slaking their thirst.
Giraffes are one of the strangest-looking and most peaceful animals on the planet. Growing up to 18 feet in height and weighing up to two tons, these gentle vegetarians need to chow down to the tune of 75 pounds of leaves and fruit per day. It's not surprising that giraffes spend about 80 percent of the day feeding (not a bad life, eh?). Due to the high water content in the food they eat, giraffes have the ability to go weeks without drinking water -- though when they do, they do it in a big way, guzzling up to 12 gallons at a time.
Giraffes are impressive, but in terms of endurance, kangaroo rats blow everybody else out of the water. Not that they need to be in the water either. Kangaroo rats never drink water. They live in arid environments, such as the Sonora Desert of the American Southwest, and are able to metabolize water from their food, which consists of primarily seeds.
‘Roo-rats can go without water for so long because their bodies have evolved to conserve it. For example, most species of kangaroo rats have no sweat glands. Kangaroo rats may take their eschewing of water a little bit far, however, when you consider their bathing habits. In what may be the least refreshing bath known to the animal kingdom, kangaroo rats clean themselves by rolling in the dust.