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Extinct giant camels once roamed the Arctic

Posted on Wednesday, 6 March, 2013 | Comment icon 10 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

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Fossil fragments belonging to a giant extinct camel species have been unearthed on Ellesmere island.

The ancestors of today's camels, the animals would have stood up to a third taller than their modern counterparts and are believed to have roamed the forests of the High Arctic over three million years ago. Temperatures were thought to have been warmer than they are today and in winter the region would have been plunged in to darkness for more than six months at a time.

"This is the first evidence of camels in the High Arctic," said researcher Mike Buckley. "This ancestor of modern camels may already have had some of the adaptations that helped it survive in harsh climates - the hump for fat storage for instance."

"Remnants of the oversized ungulate, 30 pieces in all, were recovered from a steep, sandy slope at Fyles Leaf Bed on Ellesmere island, the most northern and mountainous of the Canadian Arctic archipelago."

  View: Full article |  Source: Guardian Unlimited

  Discuss: View comments (10)



Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by wolfknight on 5 March, 2013, 20:14
Is was all desert at 1 time
Comment icon #2 Posted by Abramelin on 6 March, 2013, 12:33
Is was all desert at 1 time Apparently not: "The sediments around the fossils date to at least 3.4m years old, when the region was much warmer than today and dominated by larch forests. Temperatures hovered a few degrees below zero, and winters plunged the region into six months of darkness."
Comment icon #3 Posted by marcos anthony toledo on 6 March, 2013, 15:40
Hoping the find more remains of this giant camel in the future and information on camel evolution.
Comment icon #4 Posted by ancient astronaut on 6 March, 2013, 18:35
Comment icon #5 Posted by DieChecker on 6 March, 2013, 19:41
Article said it still would have been Dark for much of the year. Perhaps the camels had a hump to make it through the Dark times?
Comment icon #6 Posted by BiffSplitkins on 6 March, 2013, 19:49
I had to read the topic title twice. I first read it as: Fossilised giant *camel t0e* found in Arctic
Comment icon #7 Posted by HuntrSThompsun on 6 March, 2013, 23:42
Taun tauns!
Comment icon #8 Posted by CrimsonKing on 6 March, 2013, 23:50
I had to read the topic title twice. I first read it as: Fossilised giant *camel t0e* found in Arctic
Comment icon #9 Posted by Taun on 7 March, 2013, 16:51
Taun tauns! Nope... Not mine... it would have had antlers...
Comment icon #10 Posted by Geldoblam on 30 March, 2013, 10:55
That is very cool.

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