Have you ever thought of life without water? Not really! Right! Usually, humans need water every three days because they lose it when they sweat, breathe, and go to the bathroom.

But there are intriguing examples of resilience in the vast animal kingdom, like certain animals that start with t, such as the thorny devil, which can live without water for extended periods.

But other animals can also live without water for a lifetime, like the kangaroo rat, desert tortoise, water-holding frog, etc.

In the blog, we will discuss the animal that can live a lifetime without water.

The Animal That Never Drinks Water in Its Lifetime

Some believe camels can live the longest without water, but that’s wrong. A camel can survive for about 15 days without drinking any water.

However, the only animal that can live without water in its lifetime is Kangaroo Rat. Let’s discuss this amazing creature in more detail.

Kangaroo Rat

Kangaroo Rat

In the deserts of the southwestern United States, a tiny creature called the kangaroo rat never drinks water. Just because it gets the moisture it needs from the seeds it eats.

They get their name from their long, strong legs and robust tail, similar to a kangaroo’s. These rats can grow up to 38 cm in length with a tail that is 20 cm long.

They also have a special nose that helps them keep as much moisture as possible and not lose it to the air.

Do you know the kangaroo rat has special features to lower its metabolism and reduce moisture loss? Well, it excretes concentrated urine, saving water.

Interesting Facts

  • Unlike many animals, it doesn’t pant or sweat because of the oily coating, which helps them preserve water in their body.
  • Sometimes, other animals eat them to get water from their bodies.
  • It lives for 3 to 5 years and can go its whole life without taking a single sip of water.
  • This animal is not related to any rat or kangaroo family.
  • A kangaroo rat’s pee is around five times stronger than human pee.

Other Animals that Can Live without Water for Years

There is no doubt that the kangaroo rat is the only animal that can live without water for its entire lifetime, but some creatures on the earth can live for years.

Let’s dive deep into the other animal species as well.

1. Western Water Holding Frog

Western Water Holding Frog

You can easily find a special frog in the Australian deserts called the water-holding frog. It acts like a regular frog when it’s rainy, but it digs into the ground to escape the tough conditions when it gets dry.

This frog has a cool trick—it can absorb water through its skin, storing it in its bladder and body. Once underground, the frog wraps itself in a skin cocoon to keep the water in.

2. Thorny Devil

Thorny Devil

Well, you can discover this amazing creature known as the thorny devil or thorny dragon in the deserts of Central Australia. When it’s dry, this lizard catches rain and dew using special scales on its body.

These scales can trap water droplets, and the thorny devil moves them with its tongue to its mouth. It’s like a built-in water collection system that helps it stay hydrated in the desert.

3. Desert Tortoise

Desert Tortoise .jpg

You can find two types of desert tortoises in the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico deserts.

One is Gopherus agassizii in the Mojave Desert and the other one is Gopherus Morafkai in the Sonoran Desert.

These tough tortoises have shells that look like rocks, but the best part is they can store much water. They have a big bladder carrying up to two-fifths of their weight in waste and water.

When it’s wet, they pee out waste and drink extra water to store. So, it’s important not to scare a desert tortoise because it might pee out its stored water in fear.

However, these tortoises can live for a year or more without drinking water.

4. Jerboa

Jerboa .jpg

The jerboa is a cute, nocturnal rodent found in the desert. You can find them in many Arab countries, chilling in deserts and dry areas in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

These jerboa creatures are like kangaroo rats in the United States—telling them apart is tricky. What’s cool is they don’t need to drink water!

They get all the moisture they need from the plants and grains they munch on. And when it gets super hot in the summer, they take a break and hibernate. Smart little rodents!

5. Sand Gazelle

Sand Gazelle

The Arabian Sand Gazelle is like a desert superhero! It’s even better at handling little water than camels. God gave it special powers, like shrinking its lungs and heart to save water by breathing less.

And most importantly, it can reuse its pee to get more moisture when needed. That’s why we call it the true king of the desert!

Summing It Up

All in all, it’s always quite fascinating to learn something new regarding the survival of the vast animal kingdom. Isn’t it? Especially when it’s about some cool creatures that can live long without water.

However, some sand cats and certain owl species don’t drink water. And they get what they need from the plants they eat. But the champion is the kangaroo rat. It can go without water for almost 10 years, surviving the longest.

Its unique adaptations, from water-absorbing skin to efficient waste management, allow it to thrive in some of the world’s driest environments.

Explore more to know the survival strategies of these incredible creatures now!

Jonathan Green, M.Ed.

Jonathan Green is an esteemed Education Specialist with an impressive track record. He holds a Master's degree in Education alongside bearing expertise in Child Psychology. He began his career as a special education teacher, gaining insights into diverse learning needs. His previous experience includes leading teacher training programs and authoring several papers on early childhood education. His extensive experience is reflected in his insightful articles and webinars. Outside of his professional life, Jonathan is an enthusiastic gardener and a volunteer at local community education centers.

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