|Giant Camel commons|
GIANT CAMELS IN THE ARTIC?
Greetings everyone! My, what a busy time of the year! Christmas and Easter are two days of celebration that is world wide. So I know most of you are busy with preparations, whatever they may be, all around the world. May our Lord Jesus bless you as the days draw nearer to the time we commemorate our Savior’s birth.
As the birth of Christ drew near, one of the animals used by the wise men to travel to Bethlehem, and also a common work animal, was the camel. Camels have been domesticated for thousands of years, but there are things we are still learning about this interesting beast. One of the biggest (pun intended) is the giant camel Gigantocamelus spatulus. Though fossils of camels are found in many places throughout the world including Canada, North America, the middle east, and China, fossils of the giant camel are not as common.
|Giant camel tibia bones. Courtesy of Nature.ca|
The fossilized bones were discovered in 2006 in a sandy deposit near Strathcona Flord on Ellesmere Island. Other fossils found in the area included leaves and woody material, badger, deerlet, beaver and the three-toed horse.
“'This is an important discovery because it provides the first evidence of camels living in the High Arctic region,’ explains
Dr. Rybczynski, a vertebrate paleontologist with the Canadian Museum of Nature, who has led numerous field expeditions in Canada's Arctic. ‘It extends the previous range of camels in North America northward by about 1200 km, and suggests that the lineage that gave rise to modern camels may have been originally adapted to living in an Arctic forest environment.’ …The first time I picked up a piece, I thought that it might be wood. It was only back at the field camp that I was able to ascertain it was not only bone, but also from a fossil mammal larger than anything we had seen so far from the deposits," explains Rybczynski, relating the moment that she and her
team had discovered something unusual. Some important physical characteristics suggested the fossil fragments were part of a large tibia, the main lower-leg bone in mammals, and that they belonged to the group of cloven-hoofed animals known as artiodactyls, which includes cows, pigs and camels. Digital files of each of the 30 bone fragments were produced using a 3D laser scanner, allowing for the pieces to be assembled and aligned.”1
|Ellesmere Island in red. commons|
|Depiction of camels in Boreal Forsest. Courtesy of Nature.ca|
It is now thought by scientists that these large animals came across the Bering Strait Land Bridge and spread across the continent from there. This would have happened closer to the beginning of the Ice Age after the flood. That is when the land bridge would have been navigable and also when the climate was supporting Boreal forests and grasslands.
How different everything was back then. And fascinating too! Notice that the scientists didn’t claim that the giant camel produced anything else but camel descendants. Just as the Bible says. Though this is a time in our history where great changes where occurring, one thing never changes and that is God the Trinity and His great Love for us.
Until next time, God bless and take care,