Answer Monday

Last week we examined fossil teeth from an animal we've seen before on Fossil Friday–and recently, too! What was it? Why it was from the Camelidae family, featured on a Fossil Friday several weeks ago.

From the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology:

“The family Camelidae ranges back in time to the upper Eocene. It is first known from North America. Curiously, camelid feet were nearly unguligrade and probably hoofed by the Oligocene and early Miocene. The cannon bone was completely or nearly completely fused. During the Miocene and Pliocene, the ends of the cannon bones separated, and camelids returned to the digitigrade stance of their ancestors. The splayed toes of camelids give them additional surface area for supporting their weight on soft substrates like sand. Camelids probably spread to the Old World and South America during periods of low sea level during the Pliocene and Pleistocene, when land bridges connected those continents to North America.”

Thanks to those who played this week! Stay tuned for more fossil fun!
 

Minda Berbeco
Short Bio

Minda Berbeco is the former Programs and Policy Director at NCSE.

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