Despite the fact that camels are popularly associated with deserts. It is believed camelops originated in north America during the middle eocene, 44 mya.

The name is derived from the ancient greek cámēlos, “camel” and óps, “face”. “Camel-face”.
Camelops were first described in 1854 by Joesph Leidy. Bones have been found in numerous sites, from Alaska and Cdn Yukon down into Mexico.
There shoulder height is 7 feet, weight around 1800 lbs (at full growth). Scientists are unsure about the back humps. They were a large herbivore, eating coarse shrubs and plants such as saltbrush. It is believed they liked small herds similar to modern Asian and African camels. They mostly lived in lush wetland habitats that supported the small herds. Similar to modern camel species. Camelops probably could travel long distances. Whether or not they could survive for long periods without water, is still unknown. This could have been an adaptation that occurred later.

Did you know?
in the 1850s Arabian camels ate creosote bush from the US-Mexican border. It has been speculated to be part of camelops’s diet, based on the fact that no local living ungulate eats it, yet it was readily consumed in the experiment conducted by the United States camel corps.

Did you know?
During Pleistocene warm periods, a smaller morph of Camelops inhabited Alaska and northern Yukon. These specimens date to around 50–45 thousand years ago, and seem to have been disappeared from the area after this time. Supporting theories.

Extinction:
Biochemical analyses have shown that clovis tools were used in butchering and hunting camels, and probably contributed to there extinction. The result of human population migration and expansion was probably a significant reduction in range. The last species of camelops are hypothesized to have disappeared as a result of new cultures of experienced and efficient hunters. As they moved southeastward across the continent 10-15,000 years ago.


Though, of the many camelops specimens recovered in North America, only a small number demonstrate modification through human actions. Some specimens have been interpreted as having been killed by humans based on the presence of spirally fractured bone fragments. Or, possible shapes and working edges of bone, that look like they may have been used as chopping tools.
None of the reported camelops sites has been associated with stone tools, however, which would be a big indicator of possible human use. Perhaps there is another explanation. They went extinct around 11,700 years ago.

Did you know?
1/3rd of the fossils at found at Tule springs, in the upper Las Vegas (Nevada) valley were camelops. They are also common in the Mojave desert sites.

1 Comment

  1. kathycareenson says:

    Sources: wikipedia, us national parks.