Sunday, January 25, 2009

Where do camels come from?

North America!!

The icons of the African and Arabian deserts are American in origin.

Like horses and dogs, camels evolved in the grasslands of America twenty million years ago. In those days, they were more like giraffes or gazelles than the humped beasts of burden we know and love. It wasn't until about four million years ago that they crossed the Bering Land bridge into Asia. (Maybe they passed the Native Americans on their way...)

They became extinct in North America during the last Ice Age and, unlike dogs and horses, haven't made it back.

It is not clear why the north American camel species died out. Climate change is the obvious culprit. More specifically it was have been due to the silica content of grass. As the North American climate got cooler and drier, silica levels in grass tripled. This new super tough grass wore out the teeth of even the toughest rooted grazers and the horses and camels gradually died of starvation, as a result of being unable to chew.

There is also some evidence that these already weakened species, their escape route to Asia blocked by the disappearance of the Bering Land bridge ten thousand years ago, were finished off by human hunters.

8 comments:

  1. this is misleading, its not camels that come from american, but their genetic ancestors, the amercian camel stood at 7 ft tall and lacked humps

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  2. that is true, but the same could be said about the origins of humans. the first humans were significantly shorter and most likely had much darker skin than today's Caucasians, but we still consider them to be the first humans

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    1. wow you're so retarded if you believe we came from a monkey!

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    2. He never said we came from primates....

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    3. he was referencing the first humans like Homo floresiensis which was around 3ft 6 in and weighted around 30kg.

      The primates thing is completely unrelated and isn't even something Darwin believed in its just something other people that took off and ran with it.

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  3. alex, i think you have a "years" issue in the fact... pretty sure they didn't cross the land bridge "about 4 years ago" lol

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  4. Alex, what you said in your first comment sounds completely retarded. The difference between height/skin color is a bit of a smaller evolutionary gap then lets say... you and a fucking chimpanzee.

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