When Camels Roamed North America

  • Published on: 20 November 2018
  • Camels are famous for adaptations that have allowed them to flourish where most other large mammals would perish. But their story begins over 40 million years ago in North America, and in an environment you’d never expect: a rainforest.  

    Special thanks to Julio Lacerda, WillemSvdMerwe, and Ryan Somma for allowing us to use their images in this episode!

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios

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    Katie Fichtner, Aldo Espinosa Zúñiga, Anthony Callaghan, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle, Gregory Donovan, Ehit Dinesh Agarwal, الخليفي سلطان, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Anel Salas, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Kelby Reid, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, PS, Colin Sylvester, Philip Slingerland, John Vanek, Jose Garcia, Noah offitzer, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Sapjes, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Yuntao Zhou, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Maly Lor, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Sarah Fritts, Ruben Winter, Ron Harvey Jr, Jacob Gerke, Alex Yan

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  • Runtime : 10:12
  • dinosaurs dinos paleo paleontology scishow eons pbs pbs digital studios hank green john green complexly fossils natural history Australia camels outback Protylopus rainforests artiodactyl Tylopoda camel humps cushion feet hooves Poebrotherium grasslands desert the Camelid Explosion Camelinae Aepycamelus pacing gait Megatylopus Paracamelus Camelus Ellesmere Island padded feet Hemiauchenia llama guanacos vicugna Camelops


  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   12 months ago

    Hey, I want to clarify what we say about bactrian camels around 7:35. There are two different species of bactrians -- the so-called "wild bactrians" (camelus ferus), and "domestic bactrians" (camelus bactrianus). "Domestic bactrians" are descended from a species that is now extinct in the wild, and they are distinct from what we now called "wild bactrians". And the ancestor of domestic bactrians and what we call "wild bactrians" diverged 700,000 years ago, according to DNA evidence. So, they diverged BEFORE camelus bactrianus was ever domesticated. Domestication didn’t CAUSE the speciation, which is how some viewers were hearing what I said. I hope this clears things up. Sorry for the confusion! (BdeP)

  • parv
    parv   15 hours ago

    Do you not have enough distance between yourself & the camera that you would have to tuck in the elbows while gesturing?

  • Justin Bannister
    Justin Bannister   3 days ago

    I remember going to a petting zoo in Nova Scotia Canada. They had a couple of camels. One was huge and it was a single hump. And he was bizarrely very friendly. He wanted petted all the time.

  • Ali Mahjoori
    Ali Mahjoori   4 days ago

    8:35 correct pronounciation is "yama", but meh okay then

  • Alessio Leporati
    Alessio Leporati   4 days ago

    Arabic easily has 1000 words for Camel English only has one and that word originally came from Arabic in etymology.

  • xXxSkyViperxXx
    xXxSkyViperxXx   4 days ago

    camels, horses, and just about every pack animal started out in north america, yet when the native americans were roaming about and building empires and civilizations, they could not make use of them

  • steve154life
    steve154life   4 days ago

    Wat would happen if they like the horse waz reintroduced to North America

  • Devn
    Devn   5 days ago

    Regardless of whether climate change exists or not, I am not commenting on it bc it is controversial.Since the deserts all over the world used to be rain forests. What if what we are experiencing on earth right now is actually the earth going through an intense heating period that will snap back into the largest ice age ever? We have evidence of ice ages followed by warming periods happening in the past. So how do we know climate change isn't just the earth heating up before an ice age...

  • Cam RSR
    Cam RSR   6 days ago

    That sad camel in the snow! lmao

  • Michael Hodge
    Michael Hodge   1 weeks ago

    Well the thing of it is... there were humans in the Americas over 100,000 years ago. So we definitely ran into them way before 13,000 years ago.

  • Jason Jensen
    Jason Jensen   2 weeks ago

    It is amazing how many large animals went extinct about the same time period, some 13,000 years ago and videos like this one have absolutely no information (8:57 on) about what Happened to them.

  • Seamus322
    Seamus322   2 weeks ago

    In the 1800's, the U.S. Army imported camels as pack animals for the West. After the experiment, the survivors were turned loose and were sighted for decades after throughout the Southwest.

  • Carl Cacodemon
    Carl Cacodemon   2 weeks ago

    Thanks for mentioning me, should’ve given me a little more screen time though

  • Shane Dahlke
    Shane Dahlke   3 weeks ago

    I'd like to learn about ancient fish of the world and whitch type of fish was first on the planet?

  • Jason King
    Jason King   3 weeks ago

    Artiodactyla also include cetaceans (whales, porpoises, and dolphins)

  • Milton Roberts
    Milton Roberts   1 months ago

    You missed the camel's return to North America. Imported by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis )yes,that one) for military use in the Southwest. Didn't work out well and some were let go and there were wild, camels in Arizona for many years until the 20th Century.

  • Susan Farley
    Susan Farley   1 months ago

    My grandmother found a fossilized camel jawbone in Florida in the 1930's. She donated it to the Smithsonian museum. She said they told her it was one of the first found in the US (I am not sure how true that is)

  • Storm striker
    Storm striker   1 months ago

    I rode a camel 🐫 on a trip to Egypt it was scary yet fun

  • Abhijit Desai
    Abhijit Desai   1 months ago

    I am baffled with You tube's machine learning algorithm. It's almost as if some human reads your comments and suggests you videos accordingly!

  • Abhijit Desai
    Abhijit Desai   1 months ago

    North America: the Atlantis of the camels! 😃

  • Gautam Sarathy
    Gautam Sarathy   1 months ago

    So, anyone want to reintroduce camels to the Arctic?

  • Angel Caido
    Angel Caido   1 months ago

    What is the dividing líne between a domesticated animal and a non domésticated one?

    CURIOUS MONSTER   2 months ago

    This will upset the climate change nutters when they find out camels lived inside the Artic Circle

  • Kunal Nandurkar
    Kunal Nandurkar   2 months ago

    Kindly make video on ancient Himalaya how made and how it changes the mansoon and animals of Indian subcontinent! #PBS Eons

  • Socra Tease
    Socra Tease   2 months ago

    Man have we abused animals. Why do we have a right to another beings life?

  • Ss Beauty
    Ss Beauty   2 months ago

    Did Megatylopez drive a Lamborghini and have lots of books?

  • Michael Lemasters
    Michael Lemasters   2 months ago

    My question is how this hardy animal isn’t everywhere considering it lived pretty much everywhere at some time or another?

  • Anna Morris
    Anna Morris   2 months ago

    It seems like camels in North America could have, would have, adapted to leafy coastal regions and the southeastern U.S. which is semi-tropical.

  • Dakotah Colson
    Dakotah Colson   2 months ago

    I really can’t imagine the world without cities bro

  • Fat to Fierce
    Fat to Fierce   2 months ago

    camels are some of the weirdest things i've ever seen.

  • Ruby Honey
    Ruby Honey   2 months ago


  • Michael VanGundy
    Michael VanGundy   2 months ago

    Hey Mike, Mike, Mike. What day is it?It's HUMP DAYYYYYYY!