Camel ancestors lived in the Arctic

Fossils on Ellesmere Island suggest famous desert dweller got its start in the cold

By Erin Wayman, 11:51 AM March 5, 2013

The desert’s most iconic creature may be a snow lover at heart. Scientists have unearthed fossils of a giant camel that roamed the Arctic more than 3 million years ago, when the region was warmer than today and blanketed by a boreal forest. The discovery, reported online March 5 in Nature Communications, suggests modern camels probably descended from a cold-dwelling ancestor.

“I’m not surprised you’re finding a camel up there,” says Christine Janis, a paleobiologist at Brown University in P...

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