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Extinct Western Camel (Camelops hesternus) Fact Sheet: Summary

Archived Content

Disclaimer: Fact sheets on prehistoric (extinct) species contain archived content and are no longer being updated. At the time of publication, these pages summarized the best available science. However, some content may become outdated as scientists report new discoveries.

Extinct Western Camel (Camelops hesternus) Fact Sheet

Extinct Western Camel
Extinct Western camel, Camelops hesternus
Image credit: Sergiodlarosa via Wikimedia Commons, CC by 3.0.

Taxonomy Physical Characteristics

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Camelidae

Subfamily: Camelinae

Tribe: Lamini

Genus: Camelops

Species: Camelops hesternus - Western Camel (extinct)

Body weight: estimated up to 800 kg (1764 lb)

Shoulder height: 2.2 m (7 ft)

Tail length: short tail

Pelage: Not known; perhaps like modern camels

Distribution & Status Behavior & Ecology

Distribution: central and western North America

Habitat: open spaces and dry land

Status: went extinct by 10,000 years ago

Locomotion: characteristic camel pacing gait suggested
by tracks and anatomy

Social Groups: not known

Diet: grazing/browsing herbivores

Predators: American lions, sabertooth cats, dire wolves

Reproduction & Development Species Highlights
Longevity: not known, but fossils of old-age individuals have been discovered.. Feature Facts: Camels were hoofed natives of North America.Their family's evolutionary history on this continent began in the Eocene Epoch at least 45 million years ago only to become locally extinct a mere 11,000 years ago.

About This Fact Sheet

© 2009 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

How to cite: Extinct Western Camel (Camelops hesternus) Fact Sheet. c2009. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. extinctwesterncamel
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to

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