#18: “A rat can go longer without water than a camel can.”
Misleading but true.
This factoid is true only if that rat is a kangaroo rat.
First, let’s clear up a common misassumption. A lot of people think that a camel’s humps hold water, right? Wrong. Actually, a camel’s humps hold fat, not water. But even with what its humps really hold, a camel can still go a long time without water. During winters in the Saharan Desert, camels can go 6-7 months without water.
Now, back to that kangaroo rat. The kangaroo rat is an incredible creature- it lives in the North American desert, which would be inhospitable for any other. This rat can go its whole life without drinking any water at all, only getting moisture from the seeds it eats and conserving it as much as possible. That’s crazy hardcore.
But on the other hand, rats like the Norway rat need water daily. Even if some rats can go awhile without water (like in this story), they still need at least an ounce of water daily.
So this fact is somewhat misleading since it generalizes the rat.
Kangaroo rat, Encyclopedia Britannica 2002.