Skip to Main Content
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance logo
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library logo

Extinct Western Camel (Camelops hesternus) Fact Sheet: Reproduction & Development

How Do We Know This?

Isotope studies of elements present fossil bones and tusks
in microscopic quantities give information about timing of reproductive stress, and timing of nursing.
Clues to stages of development come from tooth replacement patterns and closure of sutures
in skull and limb bones.

Life Stages

  •  Juvenile Camelops are recognized by the same criteria that identify modern young camels (baby teeth, unfused ends of long bones and unfused vertebrae)
  • Old age individuals are identified by large size, worn teeth, and age-related arthritic bones.


  • Large cats such as Smilodon and the American Lion (Panthera atrox) and Dire Wolves (Canis dirus) might have preyed on these camels.

Page Citations

Morgan & Rinehart (2007)

SDZWA Library Links