Wednesday, March 6, 2013

You might have heard news of a recent discovery of mummified camel leg bone fragments of the genus Paracamelus on Ellesmere Island in Northern Canada. Here at the museum, we have a camel foot!

 Although it is not a Canadian fossil, it did live around same time as the Paracamelus. As well, both are ancestors of modern day ungulates such as camels, llamas and alpacas. Our foot belonged to a camel of the genus Paleolama and lived in Florida during the Pleistocene period 2 million years ago.

It may have surprised you to hear of the Ellesmere island discovery, given that we usually associate camels with living only in Africa and Asia. Camels originated in North America and later migrated to South America, Africa and Asia. In fact, they only migrated to Asia 3,000 years ago.

camel leg bone and foot digits