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Extinct Western Camel (Camelops hesternus) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat

How Do We Know This?

Scientists use knowledge of the earth's rocks, global plate movements, and the chemical process of fossilization to make sense of fossil distribution patterns and ancient habitats.



Prehistoric distribution

  • Central and western North America, including Rancho La Brea. (Webb et al 2006).
  • Camelops hesternus fossils at La Brea asphalt deposits include some 2700 bones from 36 individuals. (Shaw 2001)


Like modern camels, Camelops was adapted to open spaces and dry land.

It is not known if Pleistocene camels had modern camels' superb ability to conserve water (Webb et al 2006)

  • Adaptations to arid conditions may have evolved after migration out of North America.

Page Citations

Shaw (2001)
Webb et al (2006)

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