5 Amazing Facts About Camel Eyelashes (Kids Friendly)

Camel’s eyelashes are a very important organ in keeping the camel’s eye functioning properly. 

They have several functions and work great in combination with camel’s eyelids and camel’s tears to keep the eye safe. 

camel eyelashes facts

Camel Eyelashes Facts

1. Camel’s Long Eyelashes Keep The Sand Away From The Animal’s Eyes

Camel’s eyelashes work as a barrier in preventing dust, insects, and other particles from entering its eyes. In addition, they are organized in two rows and also protect the animal’s eyes from the sun.

An important role here play the third eyelid and the bushy eyebrows. Together with eyelashes they protect the eyes and work as a windshield to remove any particle that gets to the eye.

2. They Also Protect The Eye From Different Infections

One study investigating madarosis, the lack of eyelashes or eyebrows, found that people with such condition had an increased rate of eye infections. Also, it was shown that children with allergies would grow longer lashes; possibly to prevent allergens from reaching the eye and causing a reaction of the body. [1]

The eyelashes also prevent pollen and other potentially dangerous particles from reaching the eye – they work as bristles to remove them.

3. Camel Eyelashes Are Made Of Keratin

Lashes are made up of keratin, a material (protein) the camel’s body produces. It is the same material human hair and nails are made from.

Keratin proteins can be divided into alpha-keratins and beta-keratins – camels have the first type. It helps the hairs to turn, bend and fold without breaking.

4. Camel’s Have Longer Eyelashes Than Humans

Camel’s eyelashes are between 1.2 and 2 inches long (3-5cm). Some claim that they can reach 3.9 inches (10 cm) in length. 

Compared to human eyebrows, which are on average 0.4 inches long, camels can have almost 5x longer lashes. 

However, the longest human eyelashes ever recorded were 8 inches long (20.5 cm). 

You Jianxia’s left eyelash was measured 4.88 inches in 2016 (12.40 cm); since then it continued to grow and reached 8 inches in 2021. She is the only one that can proudly say that she has longer eyelashes than camels.

Read More: 20+ Birds That Have Eyebrows

5. Scientists Calculated That The Ideal Camel Eyelash Length Is ⅓ Of Its Eye Width

Camels live in dry and windy areas. That means that if the eyelashes do not divert airflow properly, the moisture from the eye can easily evaporate. This can make the eyes more sensitive, and possibly lead up to other eye problems for the animal. 

So scientists measured that ⅓ of the width of the eye is the ideal length for the camel’s eyelashes, to divert air and prevent it from drying the eye.

If the length is shorter than that, it just won’t affect the airflow properly. 

And if it is longer, it would just be counterproductive – longer eyelashes would channel more airflow towards the eye and that would dry out the eyes faster and increase the accumulation of the particles in the eyes. As a result, the animal would need to blink more often.

Camel’s tears have a high quality and quantity of minerals and lubricants that also help the animal avoid eye dryness.

Further reading: Camel’s eyelashes explained in depth

Conclusion

And there you have it, 5 fun camel eyelashes facts. 

Camel’s eyelashes prevent the sand and other allergens from getting into the eye. They are longer than human lashes and prevent eyes from drying. Camel’s eyelashes are made of keratin, a protein that is a key element to making scales, hair, nails, feathers, horns, claws, hooves, etc.

Further reading: Reasons why camels have long eyelashes


[1] Amador, Guillermo J., et al. “Eyelashes divert airflow to protect the eye.” Journal of the Royal Society Interface 12.105 (2015): 20141294.

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