Claim: Instagram user claims that a viral video depicts a camel spitting out its stomach to cool it off.
A camel cannot spit out its stomach. What it does spit out is a “ball of meat” when in heat.
An Instagram user, teklanature, posted a video that shows a camel spitting out something from its mouth with the accompanying text “Have you ever seen a camel doing this? They spit out their stomachs to cool themselves down…”
The post has over 53k likes.
The camel is known to bring out its palate (the roof of the mouth which separates the mouth and the nose in vertebrates) when seeking to court a female camel.
It is one of the many ways for males to attract females when in heat.
This part of a camel’s mouth, when out, is popularly termed a “ball of meat” because it resembles exactly that, a ball of meat!
A 2009 study by Khanvilkar, Samant and Ambore titled Reproduction in Camels, identified this organ as a “specialized inflatable diverticulum of soft palate called as gula.”
Male camels in heat or a rut, eject this soft palate (gula) out of their mouths by filling it with air from its trachea. According to Bhakat and Ghorui’s Camel Management from Birth to Production (2019), the trapped air is kept in the soft palate for 5 to 10 seconds and is then released, making a gurgling sound, which can be heard in the video.
A BBC Studio video on YouTube tells the mating story of the camel, with details on the creature’s use of the gula. At 1:33 minutes into the video, camels are shown displaying their dulla, a pink organ in the throats of camels to attract the females.
You may notice that two names, though similar-sounding, have been used to identify the organ in question, some say it’s the gula while others say it’s the dulla. They are one and the same. According to our research, the organ has been called both these names and has been defined the same way, a “diverticula of the soft palate in the camel,” which is displayed out of the mouth during courtship.
Rutting in camels
The sexual instincts of male camels are suppressed for an extended period during the year. The period when they come out of this long break is called the rut or the MUSTH, and this lasts for a few months, between three to six months.
Camels do not spit out their stomachs to cool down. What they spit out is their gula or dulla, a soft palate in their mouth to attract females for mating.