Do Camels Fart?

Like many other animals, camels fart as well. Camel fart is stomach-generated gas that is produced by swallowing air and by bacterial fermentation of food and discharged through the anus. 

Now that we solved “do camels fart” let’s take a deep breath and check the impact camel flatulence has on global warming, how often, how loud, and how do camels fart.

do camels fart

Do Camel Farts Impact Global Warming?

Whenever they break wind, camels produce carbon dioxide and methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times potent than carbon dioxide. However, camels produce significantly fewer amounts than cattle, sheep, and goats.

Methane (CH4) is a greenhouse gas that significantly contributes to global warming. It is produced only by certain types of microorganisms in the gut called methanogens. [1]

Livestock is a major anthropogenic source of methane emissions. 

Because of their similar digestive anatomy and physiology, scientists long thought that camels produce similar amounts of methane as other ruminants of similar body sizes, and therefore have a similar impact on global warming like cows, sheep, goats, etc.

A study from 2014 proved that that is not the case. [2

Camels produce around 50% less methane than cattle of a similar size and therefore have a significantly lower impact on global warming.

A 1250-pound heavy camel (570 kg) produces around 80 pounds (36 kg) of methane per year, while a 1200-pound heavy cow (550 kg) will belch over 250 pounds (115 kg).

Methane production by equids (horses, mules, and asses) is considerable and can go up to 80 liters of CH4 per day. An average horse produces about 45.5 pounds (20.7 kg) of methane a year.

AnimalMethane per yearMethane per day
Camel80 pounds131 liters
Cow180 pounds300 liters (approx)
Horse45.5 pounds80 liters
Methane emission of camel, horse, and a cow per year

Camels emit less methane than cattle because they eat less food than them and have a lower metabolism. The total amount of digested fiber per day is, therefore, lower in camels, and the total amount of methane they produced is also lower. 

Scientists assume that this lower food consumption is a camel’s adaptation to environments where not too many resources are available. 

In Australia, authorities organized a big culling action to reduce the impact of these animals on global warming. In 2009, the action removed over 160,000 feral camels and reduced their population number to 300,000.

This is still far from solving the issue, as scientists speculate that camels in Australia produce around 1% of the total amount of methane cattle generate in a year.

Do Camels Fart Loud And Often?

Similar to other animals with multi-chambered stomachs, camels fart often and quite loudly throughout the day. 

Their flatus is said to reek and has such a strong smell to make you cry and feel nauseated.

This all adds to the overall potent smell of the animal.

Further reading: Why do camels stink?

How Do Camels Fart?

Camel’s farting process is rather simple. The camel will produce gas as part of the process of digestion. Once created inside the body, the gas needs to be released somehow. A camel will expel it through its anus as flatulence or out of its mouth as a burp.

Camel’s diet mostly consists of plants and vegetables. They will eat grass, grains, wheat, different shrubs, branches, bushes, fruits, and sometimes even meat

Plants contain cellulose in huge quantities; cellulose is a carbohydrate. These carbohydrates have a big role in creating gasses.

Camels are pseudo-ruminants, which means that they have three-chambered stomachs that break down plants and vegetation. Different microorganisms break down food and extract nutrients and minerals the animal needs. 

As a byproduct of that digestion process, gasses like methane and carbon dioxide are produced. To expel them, a camel might decide to break the wind, or belch, or both.

Camels also produce, as a result of the digestion, extremely dry feces that were once used as an antibiotic. Fun fact: they had to be consumed fresh. Read about all the camel feces uses here.

Why Do Camels Fart So Much? 

The reason camels fart so much comes from their digestive system, the type of foods, and the amounts they eat. Camels fart so much because they mostly eat huge amounts of plant-based food that is rich in fiber and other carbohydrates, like starch.

Camels will consume 22-44 lbs (10–20 kg) of plants a day, sometimes even 90 lbs (40 kg). That’s a lot of food to swallow and digest. That big amount of food has a huge amount of carbs waiting to be digested. 

The more carbs and fiber are broken down in the stomach, the more gasses they will create, and the more camel will fart.

Read More: Why Do Gorillas Burp?

TL;DR – Do Camels Fart?

Camels flatulate very loud and often. Their fart is generated by anaerobic fermentation in the different sections of the gut. It is said that the camel’s fart is very potent, enough to make you feel dizzy and nauseated. 

This concludes our article covering the question “do camels fart”. We hope you found it informative and were not blown away by the topic.


References

[1] Dittmann, Marie T., et al. “Methane emission by camelids.” PLoS One 9.4 (2014): e94363.

[2] De la Fuente, G., et al. “Methanogenesis in animals with foregut and hindgut fermentation: A review.” Animal Production Science 59.12 (2019): 2109-2122.

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