Answer Monday!

Last week I presented a fossil along with some pretty big clues. You knew it was part of a scapula, dating to the Rancholabrean, and the modern descendants of this critter are known for their stubbornness.  No it wasn’t your mother-in-law…it was from the Camelidae family. Today the family includes llamas, vicunas and of course, stubborn little camels. 

From the Hooper Museum:

“The Rancholabrean Fauna (also known as the Pleistocene or Mammoth Fauna) were unusually large. Compared to Holocene fauna, fauna were much more diverse. Most were herbivore grazers feeding on grass. Hooves were much smaller for travelling on firm ground. Today hooves are wider to obtain stability in the wet, tussocky, or sphagnum covered terrain of the Arctic and Subarctic.”

Unfortunately, the tag found with this specimen only identified the fossil's family, not its species. (You'd be surprised how many of the museum's fossils fall into this category!) But I'm going to declare John Harshman this week's winner anyway with his identification of a  Camelops hesternus, which falls very nicely into this family. Nice job John!

Minda Berbeco
Short Bio

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

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