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Extinct Western Camel (Camelops hesternus) Fact Sheet: Diet & Feeding

How Do We Know This?

Clues to fossil mammals' diets come from teeth,skull shape,
from fossil dung and gut contents, from lab analysis of oxygen isotopes in bone and teeth,
and by looking at diets of similar modern animals.

Diet & Feeding

  • A herbivore adapted for browsing or mixed browsing. (Dompierre & Churcher 1996)
  • Carbon isotope studies of teeth show Camelops ate both C-3 plants and C-4 drought tolerant grasses.
    • A high proportion of C-4 vegetation such as saltbush (Atriplex) in Camelops diet in Nevada's Pleistocene (Vetter et al 2008)

Page Citations

Dompierre & Churcher (1996)
Vetter et al (2008)

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