Canada have discovered ice age camel bones whose DNA is forcing scientists to redraw the family tree of the now-extinct species.
Grant Zazula, a paleontologist with the Yukon’s department of tourism
and culture, said three fossils recovered from a gold mine in the
Klondike in 2008 are the first western camel bones found in the
territory or Alaska in decades.
Scientists had believed western camels that once lived in North
America were related to llamas and alpacas common to South America, but
they now have genetic proof that the animals are more closely tied to
the camels inhabiting Asia and Arabia.
“For us, the gold is the fossils because it’s this incredible resource for understanding extinct and ancient animals of the ice age,” Zazula said.
Zazula said scientists can now begin to understand why the camels went extinct 13,000 years ago, at the end of the ice age.
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