Giant camel fossil found in Arctic
2013-03-05 0:00

From: BBCNews

Camels are well known for their ability to survive the hot and dry conditions of the desert, but a study suggests they once thrived in colder climes.

Scientists have unearthed the fossilised remains of a giant species of camel in Canadaís High Arctic.

An analysis of protein found in the bones has revealed that this creature, which lived about 3.5 million years ago, is an ancestor of todayís species.

The research is published in the journal Nature Communications.


The giant camels were thought to have lived about 3.5 million years ago and are believed to be direct ancestors of our modern species

Dr Mike Buckley, an author of the paper from the University of Manchester, said: "Whatís interesting about this story is the location: this is the northernmost evidence of camels."

Cold conditions

The mid-Pliocene Epoch was a warm period of the Earthís history - but surviving in the Arctic would have still been tough.

The ancient camels would have had to cope with long and harsh winters, with temperatures plunging well below freezing. There would have been snow storms and months of perpetual darkness.

Nonetheless, at this time, the polar region would have been covered in forest.

While scientists have known for some time that camels evolved in North America, with the earliest creatures dating to about 45 million years ago, they were astonished to find a species at such a high latitude.

Over the course of three expeditions, which began in 2006, researchers from the Canadian Museum of Nature collected 30 fragments of fossilised leg bone from Ellesmere Island in Canada.

Their size suggested that the animal was about 30% larger that todayís camels, measuring about 2.7m from foot to shoulder.

Despite its bulk, the researchers believe it would have been similar in appearance - although it probably had a shaggier coat to stay warm.

To investigate further, the team took collagen - the dominant protein found in bone - from the fossils, and compared this with collagen found in other fossils and modern animals.

Dr Buckley said: "These biomolecules tell us that it is a direct ancestor of modern camels."

He said the findings provided a new insight into the evolution of this animal.

"It suggests that many of the adaptations that we currently think of, in terms of camels being adapted to warm desert-like environments, could have actually originated through adaptation to quite the opposite extreme... cold, harsh environments," he explained.

The scientists believe that the camelís hump (which stores fat, not water as is sometimes thought) could provide the reserves needed for an Arctic six-month winter.

Their large eyes would have helped them to see in the low light, and their flat feet would have been just as useful for walking on snow as they are on sand.

Article from: bbc.co.uk



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

ABC Is Hiding Details of Killer Vester Flanagan's Manifesto ...(Must Be Littered With Liberal Propaganda)
2015-08-29 3:45
Killer Vester Flanagan was a big Obama supporter. But, you’d never know it from the liberal media. The media is hiding Flanagan’s political leanings from the American public. ABC has yet to release Flanagan’s manifesto. It must be littered with embarrassing liberal propaganda. The Tatler reported, via Instapundit: Two days ago, ABC News reported that Vester Flanagan, the murderer of two WDBJ employees, sent a 23-page ...
Austria, Libya count dead as number of migrants crossing Mediterranean soars
2015-08-29 1:37
Austria said on Friday 71 refugees including a baby girl were found dead in an abandoned freezer truck, while Libya recovered the bodies of 82 migrants washed ashore after their overcrowded boat sank on its way to Europe and scores more were feared dead. The U.N. refugee agency said the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe ...
Financial Times Calls For Abolishing Cash
2015-08-29 1:07
liminating physical currency necessary to give central banks more power The Financial Times has published an anonymous article which calls for the abolition of cash in order to give central banks and governments more power. Entitled The case for retiring another ‘barbarous relic’, the article laments the fact that people are stockpiling cash in anticipation of another economic collapse, a factor which ...
Serbian government bans anti-mass immigration protests, and plans ahead for mass immigration
2015-08-29 1:52
Nebojsa Stefanovic, Serbia’s Interior Minister said protesters who are concerned about “an EU plan” to settle thousands of illegal immigrants into the country, will not be allowed to voice their concerns in a protest march on Monday, 31st of August. “We will not allow the expression of intolerance and hatred to be something that is characteristic of Serbia” said Stefanovic. “The Ministry ...
Germany asks Facebook to remove 'racist' anti-migrant posts
2015-08-28 20:32
Heiko Maas, Germany's justice minister, says social network should remove xenophobic posts in the same way it deals with nudity Germany is calling on Facebook to remove “xenophobic and racist” anti-migrant posts from its website and apps. Heiko Maas, the German justice minister, has written to the company to demand an urgent review of its policy over hate messages. “Photos of certain ...
More News »