The western camel was hunted by the ancestors of the Native Americans.
Meaning of scientific name
Camelops hesternus = "yesterday's camel"
Height at shoulder: 215cm. Weight: 590kg.
The western camel was similar in build to the living Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), but a little taller at the shoulder. It is not known if the western camel had humps or not.
Western camels lived in North America, and were most abundant in the west of the United States, the south west of Canada and in central Mexico.
The species inhabited steppe and temperate grasslands.
It was likely an opportunist, taking whatever plants that were available at the time. Its teeth were well adapted to grazing, but the shape of its snout shows that it could eat leaves, herbs and fruits too.
The western camel became extinct at the end of the Ice Age, about 10 to 11,000 years ago.
Camels evolved in the Americas about 50 million years ago.
Bones of the western camel have been found in association with stone tools at 18 palaeo-indian archaeological sites across the US and Canada. At two of the sites the camel bones have cut marks on them that prove the camel was butchered for its meat by prehistoric hunters.
The llama is the western camel's closest living relative.