6 Animals Never Drink Water (With Pictures)

Animals Never Drink Water
Photo by Ru1Schoeman on Pixabay

Have you ever wondered about animals never drinking water? You may have heard that some animals never drink water, such as camels.

But is this true? Animals can come from all over the world and inhabit multiple different climates.

From deserts to the savannas of Africa, the variety of these animals begs us to think more deeply about their unique adaptations, which enable them to survive in any environment they might find themselves in! 

Water is essential for survival; every species needs a certain amount. However, some animals have evolved, so they don’t need to drink water!

We will explore how Animals Never Drink Water has adapted and managed such a feat.

1. Naked Rat Mole

Naked Mole-rat

The naked rat mole is first on our list of animals never drink water.

It is an incredible creature adapted to life in the hottest climates.

Also known as Chrysantomys, its most striking feature is its bright ginger fur which covers its body like a carpet and allows the rat mole to blend in with the sandy desert floors it occupies. 

On average, the animals never drink water, grow up to four inches long, and use their short legs and long muscular tails to propel themselves through their harsh environment.

Even more remarkably, naked rat moles have evolved so they never have to drink water!

They can obtain all of their necessary fluid needs from the food they consume and do not require access to any surface water sources.

The naked rat mole is one of nature’s marvels – a testament to how interesting species can survive and thrive even in the driest of places!

2. Jerboas

by John Cummings is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Jerboas are also on our list of animals never drink water.

They are fascinating desert-dwelling rodents found primarily in the Middle East and North Africa that are well adapted to survive in their dry, arid environment.

With their long tails and legs, jerboas can jump up to 50 times their body length and run 17 kilometers per hour on average. 

One of the interesting adaptations that jerboas have is that they rarely need to drink water from a source outside their own body.

This is because jerboas get most of the water they need from their food and metabolic water, which is formed during biochemical processes like digestion and respiration. 

So although it might seem odd for an animal living in an environment as dry as the desert, jerboas rarely have to seek out a separate water source like lakes, puddles, or rivers.

Some species do not drink any external water, depending entirely on resources within their organisms.

3. Sand Gazelles

Sand Gazelles
by Charlesjsharp is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sand Gazelles are a remarkable species of antelope found in the desert and semi-arid regions such as the Sahara Desert in North Africa.

This large mammal often roams the dunes for food and has adapted to survive without needing water.

They get all the water they need from the vegetation they eat, which contains moisture and salts necessary for their body’s hydration balance. 

Their well-developed kidneys that reabsorb salts and water from urine can extract what they need while stilting, wasting minimal amounts.

Additionally, these gazelles have evolved elaborate systems to keep cool by reflecting heat or diverting blood flows from their skin.

Sand Gazelles are an incredible example of evolution’s capacity to adapt animals to even the most extreme climates.

4. Koalas

Photo by Holgi on Pixabay

Koalas are among the most iconic and beloved animals never drink water in the world.

It may come as a surprise to many that this marsupial does not drink from any water source.

Despite their natural habitat found closely around trees, koalas exclusively absorb moisture from the eucalyptus leaves they feed on. 

In addition to the lack of need for water, koalas have adapted other survival methods over time to compensate for this lack of access to hydration sources.

Their fur naturally repels water and helps keep them warm throughout the Australian winter months when temperatures drop considerably low.

Their small body size also requires less energy output, requiring minimal amounts of water absorption.

Koalas, one of the animals never drink water, are also adept tree climbers and spend much of their lives in wattle tree canopies where they eat large quantities of a particular species; Eucalyptus foliage.

Eating eucalyptus means they have an abundance of moisture from the leaves and stems that get built up during the night condensation period.

This is why koalas do not need additional liquid like other mammals need for hydration.

This adaptation has allowed them to become one of Australia’s major attractions without ever needing to go near a river or lake!

5. Thorny Devil

Thorny Devil
by ogwen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Thorny Devil is a spectacularly adapted creature found inhabiting Australia’s deserts and arid regions.

Nicknamed the ‘Mole Lizard,’ they are also known as thorny dragons due to their spiny scales and reptilian body.

The most remarkable feature of the Thorny Devil is that it never needs to drink water.

Instead, they extract all the moisture they need from prey and circumstances within their environment. 

The slow-moving, smallish lizard has evolved some remarkable adaptations to live in this dry environment, such as its ability to minimize water loss via its thick skin covered in heavily raised spiky scales.

In addition, its coloration serves a purpose; by matching its sandy surroundings during the day for camouflage purposes but then turning a dark gray at night, it radiates absorbed heat back into its chilly desert habitat. 

Perhaps another more miraculous adaptation, though, is its ability to gather water from unexpected sources, such as morning dew or damp soil, incredibly quickly and efficiently with an organ called the ‘trapping mechanism’ in their mouths.

This ensures that not only does one not need to drink water directly, but all of this water collected can be used multiple times throughout one’s life cycle. 

Overall, these animals never drink water offers a superlative example of how extreme environments can foster extraordinary adaptations like no need for passively drinking water.

This demonstrates just how crucial adaptation is to live on Earth!

6. Kangaroo Rats

Kangaroo rats are last on our list of animals never drink water. They are small, burrowing animals native to North America.

They are well known for their remarkable water conservation ability; they never drink water! 

Kangaroo rats produce and concentrate their water through metabolic processes of breakdown food, so they do not need to depend on external water sources like most other organisms.

This special adaptation helps them survive in harsh desert environments with limited access to fresh water.

As a result, kangaroo rats have adapted their lifestyle to minimize contact with the external environment and use more energy-efficient movement and temperature control methods. 

During extreme dry conditions, kangaroo rats will further reduce their movements by entering a state of torpor where they can remain coiled up in their underground burrows without needing additional food or water for several weeks.


Some animals never drink water is an intriguing aspect of the natural world.

Animals like kangaroos, sloths, and desert tortoises can survive with their own metabolic needs, making them nearly self-sustaining in a seemingly difficult environment.

This process illustrates how different species have adapted to their challenging environments by developing new ways to survive and even thrive without water supply from external sources.

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