When ancient camels roamed in North America!

September 03, 2019
Camels and sand dunes go together. Well, that's what we thought, but the recent discovery of fossils seem to suggest otherwise. The far north, Canada's High Arctic, was once inhabited by the ancestors of our modern camel 3.5 million years ago, as evident from new research! The fossils of these prehistoric camels, found on Ellesmere Island (Northern Canada) suggest that they might have been taller than our friendly giants; almost 30% taller, 9 feet, or more! Interestingly, this is the first time that such remains have been found so close to the North Pole, closest in fact, and the first to shed light on the fact that these giant camels were found in the Arctic region.
The paper which was published in Nature Communications, had lead study author, Dr. Natalia Rybczynski, talk about the findings, and how it would help in understanding fossil evolution. The research samples, which were analyzed using the technique of collagen fingerprinting, consisted of fossilized bones from the tibia of the prehistoric camel; 30 pieces of it, ranging between 0.5-3 inches in length. The remains were found further north from the place (1200 km), which previously researchers believed was where these North American camels lived. Researchers have also stated that these camels lived at a time when the earth's temperature was 14-22 degrees warmer than now, and apart from that, survived very harsh winters and long periods of darkness. Their features, some of which such as humps or large eyes, also seen in the modern day camels, were probably helpful even then.
We are going to give you an additional fact. These prehistoric camels reached Eurasia by crossing the land bridge which connected Russia and Alaska! Sounds like 3.5 million years ago, things were quite different. Next time you see a camel, try imagining it living in the cold Arctic landscape, lapping up the Canadian winter, and remember to thank us for this very weird piece of advice!

Post Written by - Lopamudra

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