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Temporal range: Late Pliocene to early Holocene, 3.2–0.010 Ma
Mounted skeleton of Camelops hesternus in the George C. Page Museum, Los Angeles
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Camelidae
Tribe: Camelini
Genus: Camelops
Leidy, 1854

Camelops kansanus Leidy, 1854 †Camelops hesternus Leidy, 1873 (type)
Camelops minidokae Hay, 1927

Camelops is an extinct genus of camel which lived in North America during the Pleistocene. from two million years ago to about 10,000 years ago.

They were prey for the wolves, bears, lions and Smilodon. Camelops disappeared at the end of the last ice age, as did many other animals.

Changes in their environment

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Evidence of its environment comes from Natural Trap Cave in Wyoming,[1] and from Rancho La Brea in the modern Los Angeles area.[2] These studies suggest that it was not, like modern camels, adapted to desert conditions. It lived in woodland and grasslands with mixed vegetation.

Before the climate change at about 11,000 years ago it lived in "conifer parklands" on the Montana-Wyoming border,[1] and in "coastal shrublands" in California.[2] After the climate change, what had been woodland became "deserts and treeless steppes of the sort so extensive in the present western U.S.A". Even the type of grass which grew there changed.[1]

Evidently, for this animal, the climate change was very significant. Also, the arrival of man as a hunter may have made the situation worse. A few Clovis points have been found in the cave site.


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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Martin P.S. and Klein R.G. (eds) 1984. Quaternary extinctions: a prehistoric revolution. Arizona, Tucson AZ, p145. ISBN 0-8165-1100-4
  2. 2.0 2.1 Western Camel (extinct) Camelops hesternus. San Diego Natural History Museum [1]