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Temporal range: Pleistocene, 2 mya to 10,000 years ago
Camelops hesternus.jpg
Camelops hesternus
in the George C. Page Museum, Los Angeles
Scientific classification

Leidy, 1854

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[change | change source]

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 "coastel 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.

References[change | change source]

  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]