Giant Camel fossils found in Canadian Arctic The study,
The study, led by Dr. Rybczynski, who is a paleobiologist with the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, is based on the discovery of 30 fossil fragments of a leg bone found on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, and represents the most northerly record for early camels, whose ancestors are known to have originated in North America some 45 million years ago.
The find carries implications for climate science. While the planet was only two or three degrees warmer during that period, the camel bone along with fossilized plants from the same period show that average temperatures in the Far North were a whopping 14 to 22 degrees warmer than today.
But while Ellesmere Island may have been warmer then, its high latitude means that Arctic camels still endured months of continuous darkness through the winter.
It is the first evidence that the ancestors of today’s archetypal desert dwellers roamed the Canadian High Arctic at least 3.4 million years ago.
The discovery is likely to cause some double-takes among evolutionary biologists. Read Details