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Does Cactus Hurt Camels: How Do They Eat It?

Even a small piercing can be painful, but Xerophytic animals like Camels never hurt their mouth, even after munching thorny Cactus.

Generally, Camels can easily eat Cactus with thorns without getting hurt due to thick mouthparts, strong teeth, and tough digestive system. These adaptations help them to break down the tough thorny parts of the Cactus and digest them easily.

Go through this entire article to quench your curiosity about the survival of big animals like Camels by eating tough plants like thorny Cactus without pain.

What Do Camels Eat?

Camels are hardy desert animals with highly adaptive qualities. These animals can eat anything available and survive in such harsh environments with lots of scarcities.

In desert areas, you can find lots of prickly and dry grasses. These xerophytes are resilient to desert environments and are one of the food sources for Camels.

Moreover, Camels also eat the leaves of various drought-resistant trees and small shrubby plants for nutrition.

Occasionally, they also love to eat grains and fruits if they get a chance. However, grains, fruits, and vegetables are not their preferred food choice.

Besides food, Camels can drink more than 50 gallons of water daily. They reserve water in their humps for future use.

Can Camels Eat Cactus With Thorns?

Camels survive in the xerophytic environment, so they can easily eat Cactus with thorns. Moreover, the Cactus is a valuable food source for Camels.

These prickly plants are good sources of food for Camels and contain a good quantity of water to make them hydrated.

Camel eating cactus without getting hurt
Camel can eat almost all varieties of Cactus.

Some Cactus varieties, like Apple Cactus, store more than  80% of water and are much-needed food sources for Camels.

Additionally, Cactus contains various essential nutrients like vitamins, potassium, calcium, and other essential nutrients to keep Camels healthy.

Camels with mature and long spines usually avoid the Cactus and pick young ones to avoid the thorns. They become more happy when they find Cactus without spines.

The Cactus with thorns that are the preferable food source for Camels include Prickly Pear, Sagauro Cactus, Barrel Cactus, and many more. 

Does Cactus Hurt Camels?

Camels have evolved in such a way that even thorny plants like Cactus cannot hurt their mouth. They can swallow Cactus with minimum discomfort.

It’s because Camels have very tough mouthparts. The lips and tongue are covered in rough, thick, and leathery cover called papillae, which protect Camel from being hurt because of the thick spines in Cactus.

These rough coverings also have the capacity to break down the thorny Cactus surfaces.

Moreover, the strong teeth in Camels help to break thick Cactus pads from their connections without being hurt. This helps them to get rid of the tough outer skin of the cacti and only consume the inner part.

Additionally, the solid digestive system in Camels helps to break down the tough fibers of Cacti and digest them easily.

Thus, by consuming those thorny cactus varieties with such amazing qualities, Camels can survive in harsh environments like deserts.

From Editorial Team

Additional Information!

Despite their adaptive mouth and body parts, mature cactus plants can still hurt Camels with their thorns. However, it only causes minor injuries that can heal easily.

Moreover, Camels have a mutualistic relationship with Cactus. Cactus provide valuable nutrients to Camels while Camels disperse Cacti seeds, aiding increments in the Cacti population.