How Many Hearts Does A Camel Have? (Anatomy, Size, And Location)

Like other mammals, camels have only one heart. Camel’s heart is a pointy and cone-shaped muscle that pumps blood through its body. 

A healthy camel heart should be slightly pointed and not round.

The color of a camel’s heart is uniformly red, with no white or brown streaks, and it should have fat on the outside surface.

Next, let’s look into how many chambers a camel’s heart has, its size, anatomy, heart rate, and common heart diseases.

how many hearts does a camel have

How Many Heart Chambers Does A Camel Have?

A camel’s heart consists of 4 chambers, the left atrium and right atrium (upper chambers), and the left ventricle and right ventricle (lower chambers).

The walls of all four heart chambers consist of three layers: 

  • the internal endocardium
  • the middle myocardium
  • the external epicardium

The thick wall of the heart mostly consists of cardiac muscle cells that create rhythmic contractions and pump warm blood into the vascular system.

The inner layer of the heart is called the endocardium, the middle part is called the myocardium and it is the thickest layer of the heart, and the outside part is the epicardium.

The aorta of the camel’s heart is very large, strong, and thick-walled. 

Camel Heart Size

Adult camels can have hearts weighing over 3.3-4.4 lbs (1.5-2kg), but not more than 8 lbs (3.6kg). A 3-year-old camel’s heart weighs around 2.51 lbs (1.14 kg). From top to bottom, the camel’s heart is 7.69 inches long (19.54 cm), and 5.74 inches wide (14.59 cm). 

Average heart weight can warry ± 1.87 ounces (± 53.1 g), length ± 0.17 inches (± 0.44 cm), and width ± 0.11 inches (± 0.28 cm), depending on the individual animal’s characteristics.

The right atrial wall of a camel’s heart is around 0.204 inches (0.52 cm) thick, the left atrial wall is about 0.2 inches (0.51 cm), the right ventricular wall is 0.326 inches (0.83 cm) while the left ventricular wall is 0.767 inches thick (1.95 cm).

Because of their lower body weight and size, a younger camel’s heart will weigh 1-2 pounds less (0.5-1kg) compared to a mature one.

Compared to a young buffalo, a young camel has a slightly bigger heart, 2.51 lbs compared to 1.2  lbs (1.14 kg vs 0.55 kg).

When looking at a camel’s proportions, its heart’s average weight is about 0.6% of the total body weight.

Camel Heart Location

According to Maurizio Dioli, a veterinarian and a camel expert, a camel’s heart is located on the left side, in the middle of the mediastinum cavity,  between the IV and VI ribs. Its base stretches from the second thoracic vertebra to the fifth one, and its apex is just above the sixth sternebra of the sternum.

Here’s where the heart is located in the camel’s body.

Sternal recumbency position of a camel during ultrasonographic examination of the right (A) and left (B) sides of the thorax. The situation of the lungs compared to other adjacent anatomical landmarks is apparent

Camel Heart Rate

A camel’s heart rate can range from 35 to 50 beats per minute. There is no difference between their pulse in the morning or the afternoon. The pulse of the camel is usually measured at a point on the underside of the root of the tail. 

Camels have a similar average heart rate to horses. 

Horses have a heart rate between 23 and 70 beats per minute (average of around 46 b/pm), while camels are at an average of 43 beats per minute.

Calculating the heart rate of an animal can be a tricky part, as sometimes they can react to being handled, and might have elevated heart rates.

Do Camels Throw Up Their Hearts?

Contrary to what people think, camels do not throw up their hearts. The organ people see hanging out of a camel’s mouth is dulla, an organ used for establishing dominance and courtship.

It is pretty understandable to mistake a camel’s heart for a dulla.

Dulla is a pink sac, similarly looking to a heart, that camels blow up when they are in heat and want to establish dominance over their rivals and seduce female members of the herd.

Usually, besides blowing up their dulla, camels will also foam at their mouth, and do all sorts of weird mating rituals. 

We have an entire article on how camels attract mates; make sure to check it out.

Camel Heart Diseases

In the camel, heart diseases include pericarditis, vegetative valvular endocarditis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, necrotic myocarditis, and congenital defects including septal defects, patent ductus arteriosus, transposition of the aorta and pulmonary artery, persistent aortic trunk, and persistent right aortic arch and sarcocystosis.

These heart issues are mostly detected in the slaughterhouse or after death. 

Detecting those issues remains a challenging task to this day.

One non-invasive tool that could be used a lot more for the assessment of a camel’s heart is Echocardiography.

Echocardiography or echocardiogram (echo) is an ultrasound of the heart that gives a graphic outline of the heart’s movement using high-frequency sound waves.

Conclusion

This concludes our article on the camel’s heart anatomy, its number of heart chambers, heart rate, location, and diseases.

Camels have only one cone-shaped heart. It has 4 chambers, weighs around 3-8 lbs, and is located between the fourth and sixth rib. Camels do not throw up their hearts; the organ similar to the heart is dulla. There are many heart diseases in camels.

We hope you found the article interesting and that we managed to answer the question “how many hearts does a camel have” properly.

Sources

Echocardiography of the normal camel (Camelus dromedaries) heart: technique and cardiac dimensions

Morphometric analysis of heart, kidneys, and adrenal glands in dromedary camel calves

Left Ventricles of the Mature Camel Heart (Camelus dromedaries) with Special References to the Structure and Distribution of the Purkinje Cardiomyocytes: Microanatomy

Photo Source

Ultrasonography of the lungs and pleura in healthy camels (Camelus dromedarius) – Scientific Figure on ResearchGate

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