Camelops hesternus Leidy, 1873

Yesterday's camel, Western camel



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


Last record: Late Pleistocene





Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Leidy, J. (1873). Contributions to the extinct vertebrate fauna of the Western Territories. U.S. Geological Survey of the Territories, Report 1: 14-358.


Other references:

Bravo-Cuevas, Victor Manuel and Jiménez-Hidalgo, Eduardo. (2018). Advances on the Paleobiology of Late Pleistocene mammals from central and southern Mexico, pp. 277-313. In: Huard, Gaeten and Gareau, Jeannine (eds.). The Pleistocene: Geography, Geology, and Fauna. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Buckley, M. et. al. (In Press, 2018). Collagen sequence analysis of fossil camels, Camelops and c.f. Paracamelus, from the Arctic and sub-Arctic of Plio-Pleistocene North America. Journal of Proteomics. doi: [Abstract]

Burns J.A. 2010 Mammalian faunal dynamics in Late Pleistocene Alberta, Canada. Quaternary International 217(1-2): 37-42.

Cohen, Joshua E. et al. (In press, 2021). Dietary stability inferred from dental mesowear analysis in large ungulates from Rancho La Brea and opportunistic feeding during the late Pleistocene. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. doi: [Abstract]

Conkling, R. P. 1932. Conkling Cavern: The discoveries in the bone cave at Bishops Cap, New Mexico. West Texas Historical and Scientific Society Bulletin 44:39-41.

Faith, J.T., Surovell, T.A., 2009. Synchronous extinction of North America's Pleistocene mammals. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 106, 20641-20645.

Faunmap working group. 1994 FAUNMAP: a database documenting late Quaternary distributions of mammal species in the United States. Illinois State Museum Scientific Papers 25(1-2): 1-690.

Ferrusquía-Villafranca I., Arroyo-Cabrales J., Martínez-Hernández E., Gama-Castro J., Ruiz-González J., Polaco O.J., Johnson E. 2010 Pleistocene mammals of Mexico: A critical review of regional chronofaunas, climate change response and biogeographic provinciality. Quaternary International 217(1–2), 53-104.

Fuller, Benjamin T. et al. (In Press, 2019). Pleistocene paleoecology and feeding behavior of terrestrial vertebrates recorded in a pre-LGM asphaltic deposit at Rancho La Brea, California. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. doi: [Abstract]

Harris, Arthur H. (1987). Reconstruction of Mid Wisconsin Environments in Southern New Mexico. National Geographic Research 3(2): 142-151.

Harris, Arthur H. (1993). Quaternary vertebrates of New Mexico, pp. 179-197. In: Vertebrate Paleontology in New Mexico, New Mexico Museum of Natural History, Bulletin 2:i-vii, 1-338.

Heintzman, Peter D. et al. (2015). Genomic data from extinct North American Camelops revise camel evolutionary history. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32(9): 2433-2440. [Abstract]

Hemmings, E. T. 2007. Buried animal kills and processing localities, areas 1-5. Pp. 83-137, in Murray Springs, a Clovis site with multiple activity areas in the San Pedro Valley, Arizona. Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona, no. 71, University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Hilton, Richard P., Dailey, D. Charles and McDonald, H. Gregory. (2000). A Late Pleistocene biota from the Arco Arena site, Sacramento, California. PaleoBios 20(1): 7-12.

Htun, Thein et al. (2018). Postnatal allometric limb growth in juvenile camels from the Pleistocene of Rancho La Brea Tar Pits, pp. 267-270. In: Lucas, Spences G. and Sullivan, Robert M. (eds). Fossil Record 6(1). New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Bulletin 79.

Jass, Christopher N. and Allan, Timothy E. (2016). Camel fossils from gravel pits near Edmonton and Vauxhall, and a review of the Quaternary camelid record of Alberta. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. doi: 10.1139/cjes-2016-0013 [Abstract]

Jefferson, G. T. 1991. A catalogue of Late Quaternary vertebrates from California. Part two: Mammals. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Technical Reports 7:1-129.

Jefferson, G. T., H. G. McDonald, and S. D. Livington. 2015. Catalogue of late Quaternary and Holocene fossil vertebrates from Nevada. Nevada State Museum, Occasional Papers no. 6a:iv + 86.

Jones, Davis Brent and Desantis, Larisa R. G. (In Press, 2016). Dietary ecology of ungulates from the La Brea tar pits in southern California: A multi-proxy approach. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. [Abstract]

Kooyman B, Hills LV, Tolman S, McNeil PE. 2012. Late Pleistocene western camel (Camelops hesternus) hunting in southwestern Canada. American Antiquity 77: 115-124.

Kurtén B., Anderson E. 1980 Pleistocene Mammals of North America. New York, Columbia University Press.

Marín-Leyva, Alejandro Hiram et al. (2022). Environmental inferences based on the dietary ecology of camelids from west-central Mexico during the Late Pleistocene. Historical Biology.

Mawby, J. E. 1967. Fossil vertebrates of the Tule Springs site, Nevada. Nevada State Museum, Anthropological Papers 13:106-128.

Mead, J. I., L. L. Coats, and B. W. Schubert. 2003. Late Pleistocene faunas from caves in the eastern Grand Canyon, Arizona. Pp. 64-86, in Ice Age cave faunas of North America (B. W. Schubert, J. I. Mead, and R. W. Graham, eds.) Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 299 pp.

Mead, J. I., N. J. Czaplewski, and L. D. Agenbroad. 2005. Rancholabrean (Late Pleistocene) mammals and localities of Arizona. Pp. 139-180, in (R. D. McCord, ed.) Vertebrate Paleontology of Arizona, Mesa Southwest Museum Bulletin No. 11.

Mead, J. I., and A. M. Phillips, III. 1981. The late Pleistocene and Holocene fauna and flora of Vulture cave, Grand Canyon, Arizona. Southwestern Naturalist 26:257-288.

Milligan, Mark and McDonald, H. Gregory. (2017). Shorelines and vertebrate fauna of Pleistocene Lake Bonneville, Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. Geology of the Intermountain West 4: 181-214.

Morgan, G. S., and S. G. Lucas. 2003. Mammalian biochronology of Blancan and Irvingtonian (Pliocene and Early Pleistocene) faunas from New Mexico. American Museum of Natural History, Bulletin no. 279:269-320.

Morgan, G. S., and S. G. Lucas. 2005. Pleistocene vertebrate faunas in New Mexico from alluvial, fluvial, and lacustrine deposits. Pp. 185-248, in New Mexico's Ice Ages (Lucas, S. G., G. S. Morgan, and K. E. Zeigler, eds.). New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bulletin 28:1-280.

Morgan, G. S., and L. F. Rinehart. 2007. Late Pleistocene (Rancholabrean) mammals from fissure deposits in the Jurassic Todilto Formation, White Mesa mine, Sandoval County, north-central New Mexico. New Mexico Geology 29(2):39-51.

Murray, L. K. 2008. Effects of taxonomic and locality inaccuracies on biostratigraphy and biochronology of the Hueso and Tapiado formations in the Vallecito Creek–Fish Creek Section, Anza-Borrego Desert, California. PhD Dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, pp. i-xxiii, 1-532.

Raymond, Kristina R. and Prothero, Donald R. (2010). Comparative variability of intermembranous and endochondral bones in Pleistocene mammals. Palaeontologia Electronica 13.1.4A.

Reynolds, R. E., R. L. Reynolds, C. J. Bell, and B. Pitzer. 1991. Vertebrate remains from Antelope Cave, Mescal Range, San Bernardino County, California. Pp. 107-109, in Crossing the Borders: Quaternary Studies in Eastern California and Southwestern Nevada (R. E. Reynolds, compiler). MDQRC 1991 Special Publication, San Bernardino County Museum Association, Redlands, CA.

Rothschild, Bruce and Surmik, Dawid. (2020). Echinococcal hydatid cysts in a Pleistocene Camel. Historical Biology. [Abstract]

Saunders, J. J. 1977. Lehner Ranch revisited. Pp. 50-64, in Paleoindian Lifeways (E. Johnson, ed.). The Museum Journal, West Texas Museum Association, Texas Tech University, Lubbock.

Schultz, J. R. 1937. A Late Quaternary mammal fauna from the tar seeps of McKittrick, California. Ph.D. thesis, California Institute of Technology, 202 pp + 2 plates.

Scott, Eric, Springer, Kathleen B. and Sagebiel, James C. (2017). The Tule Springs local fauna: Rancholabrean vertebrates from the Las Vegas Formation, Nevada. Quaternary International 443(A): 105-121. [Abstract]

Short, Rachel A., Emmert, Laura G., Famoso, Nicholas A., Martin, Jeff M., Mead, Jim I., Swift, Sandy L. and Baez, Arturo. (2021). Paleobiology of a large mammal community from the late Pleistocene of Sonora, Mexico. Quaternary Research. DOI: [Abstract]

Springer, Kathleen B., Pigati, Jeffrey S. and Scott, Eric. (2017). Vertebrate Paleontology, Stratigraphy, and Paleohydrology of Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, Nevada (USA). Geology of the Intermountain West 4: 55-98.

Smith F.A., Lyons S.K., Ernest S.K.M., Jones K.E., Kaufman D.M., Dayan T., Marquet P.A., Brown J.H., Haskell J.P. 2003 Body mass of late Quaternary mammals. Ecology 84(12), 3403-3403.

Springer, K., E. Scott, C. Sagebiel, and L. K. Murray. 2009. The Diamond Valley Lake local fauna: Late Pleistocene vertebrates from inland southern California. Pp. 217-235, in Papers on geology, vertebrate paleontology, and biostratigraphy in honor of Michael O. Woodburne (L. G. Albright, III, ed.). Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin 65, Flagstaff, Arizona.

Stock, C., and J. M. Harris. 1992. Rancho la Brea: A record of Pleistocene life in California. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Science Series no. 37, 7th ed.:i-xiv + 1-113.

Waters, Michael R., Stafford, Thomas W. Jnr., Kooyman, Brian and Hills, L. V. (2015). Late Pleistocene horse and camel hunting at the southern margin of the ice-free corridor: Reassessing the age of Wally’s Beach, Canada. PNAS 112(14):  4263-4267.

Wilson, R. W. (1933). Pleistocene mammalian fauna from the Carpinteria asphalt. Carnegie Institute of Washington, Publication 440: 60-76.

Zazula, Grant D., MacPhee, R. D. E., Hall, Elizabeth and Hewitson, Susan. (2016). Osteological Assessment of Pleistocene Camelops hesternus (Camelidae: Camelinae: Camelini) from Alaska and Yukon. American Museum Novitates Number 3866: 1-45.

Zazula, Grant D., MacPhee, R. D. E., Southon, John, Nalawade-Chavan, Shweta, Reyes, Alberto V., Hewitson, Susan and Hall, Elizabeth. (2017). A case of early Wisconsinan “over-chill”: New radiocarbon evidence for early extirpation of western camel (Camelops hesternus) in eastern Beringia. Quaternary Science Reviews 171: 48-57. [Abstract]

Zazula, Grant D., Turner, D. G., Ward, B. C. and Bond, J. (2011). Last interglacial western camel (Camelops hesternus) from eastern Beringia. Quaternary Science Reviews 30(19-20): 2355-2360. [Abstract]


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