A genus of large, North American, camel-like Hoofed Mammals thought to have died out 10,000 years ago.
Physical description: Camel wit h a long neck, long legs, and probably a single hump. Distribution: Ut ah.
Significant sighting: In 1926, Hector Lee and ot her high school st udent s on a field t r ip discover ed an unfossilized Camelops skull in a cave near Tabernacle Crater southwest of Fillmore, Utah. A st r ip of dr ied ligament was st ill at t ached. Possible explanations:
(1) Oliver Hay was of t he opinion t hat t he skull was pr eser ved except ionally well because it had been covered by a 3- to 4-foot layer of fine dust in t he cave. He t hought it dat ed fr om t he Aft onian int er glacial per iod, no later than 700,000 years ago.
(2) Alfred Romer was convinced that Camelops per sist ed int o r ecent t imes. A radiocarbon date of 11,075 years ago was obtained from the skull in 1979, supporting this theory.
Sources: Alfred Sherwood Romer, "A 'Fossil' Camel Recently Living in Utah," Science 68 (1928): 19-20; Oliver P. Hay, "An Extinct Camel from Utah," Science 68 (1928): 299-300; Alfred Sherwood Romer, "A Fresh Skull of an Extinct American Camel," Journal of Geology 37 (1929): 261-267; Michael E. Nelson and James H. Madsen Jr., "The Hay-Romer Camel Debat e: Fift y Year s Lat er," University of Wyoming Contributions to Geology 18 (1979): 47-50.
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