When Camels Roamed North America

  • Published: 21 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: superiorjanitorial.pro/user/pbsdigitalstudios

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  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 903

  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   12 months back

    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)

    • John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmitt
      John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmitt  1 months back

      Yes and while you're at it remind us what you said about the "Arctic being warmer than it is today"

    • I'M THE MAN
      I'M THE MAN  2 months back

      I heard that in the wild wild west days of America. They brought camels back to America.

    • GetMeThere1
      GetMeThere1  5 months back

      How do you tell fossil animals with "three stomachs" vs ones with "four stomachs?"

    • Jenni Luce
      Jenni Luce  10 months back

      Thank you very much! 😊

    • InternetDarkLord
      InternetDarkLord  10 months back

      @Jenni Luce I heard Jefferson Davis tried this when he was Secretary of War. For obvious reasons, he left when the Civil War began, so the whole thing was nipped in the bud very early. Still, I also heard a few lived into the 1900s in the wild.

  • Justin Bannister
    Justin Bannister  2 days back

    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  3 days back

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

      • Alessio Leporati
        Alessio Leporati  3 days back

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

        • xXxSkyViperxXx
          xXxSkyViperxXx  3 days back

          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  3 days back

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

            • Devn
              Devn  4 days back

              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  5 days back

                That sad camel in the snow! lmao

                • Inland Islander
                  Inland Islander  6 days back

                  Who else hears Mega Tai Lopez? 😂

                  • Michael Hodge
                    Michael Hodge  1 weeks back

                    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 back

                      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 back

                        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  3 weeks back

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

                          • hell is lit af
                            hell is lit af  3 weeks back

                            I wuv camels...

                            • Shane Dahlke
                              Shane Dahlke  3 weeks back

                              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  4 weeks back

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

                                • Milton Roberts
                                  Milton Roberts  1 months back

                                  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 back

                                    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)

                                    • Davey J
                                      Davey J  1 months back

                                      Show me that camel

                                      • Storm striker
                                        Storm striker  1 months back

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

                                        • Daybird Aviaries
                                          Daybird Aviaries  2 months back

                                          Your little proto looks like a mara.

                                          • Daybird Aviaries
                                            Daybird Aviaries  2 months back

                                            No one believes that the earth is that old.

                                            • Abhijit Desai
                                              Abhijit Desai  2 months back

                                              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  2 months back

                                                North America: the Atlantis of the camels! 😃

                                                • Gautam Sarathy
                                                  Gautam Sarathy  2 months back

                                                  So, anyone want to reintroduce camels to the Arctic?

                                                  • Imran Shishir
                                                    Imran Shishir  2 months back

                                                    Mind blowing yet heart warming.

                                                    • Unknown PhNtom
                                                      Unknown PhNtom  2 months back

                                                      3:42 anyone else get that reference?

                                                      • Angel Caido
                                                        Angel Caido  2 months back

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

                                                        • CURIOUS MONSTER
                                                          CURIOUS MONSTER  2 months back

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

                                                          • Kunal Nandurkar
                                                            Kunal Nandurkar  2 months back

                                                            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 back

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

                                                              • Ss Beauty
                                                                Ss Beauty  2 months back

                                                                Did Megatylopez drive a Lamborghini and have lots of books?

                                                                • Michael Lemasters
                                                                  Michael Lemasters  2 months back

                                                                  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 back

                                                                    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 back

                                                                      I really can’t imagine the world without cities bro

                                                                      • Wayne Anthony
                                                                        Wayne Anthony  2 months back

                                                                        Megatailopez 5:56

                                                                        • Fat to Fierce
                                                                          Fat to Fierce  2 months back

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

                                                                          • Ruby Honey
                                                                            Ruby Honey  2 months back

                                                                            NOW SHEEP ROAM AMERICA......THEY CALL THEM DEMOCRAPS

                                                                            • Michael VanGundy
                                                                              Michael VanGundy  2 months back

                                                                              Hey Mike, Mike, Mike.
                                                                              What day is it?

                                                                              It's HUMP DAYYYYYYY!

                                                                              • bingbird23
                                                                                bingbird23  2 months back

                                                                                This guys voice sounds pathetic.

                                                                                • MALTA HIGH JACKER
                                                                                  MALTA HIGH JACKER  3 months back

                                                                                  I hate how north America has little to no mega fauna now a days thanks ancestors for not being smart enough to practice moderation

                                                                                  • MALTA HIGH JACKER
                                                                                    MALTA HIGH JACKER  2 months back

                                                                                    @Gi Gi very true but I mean the biggest thing we have is bears and moose and a very small amount bison other contents have far more exotic species of mega fauna

                                                                                  • Gi Gi
                                                                                    Gi Gi  2 months back

                                                                                    That’s not just North America though

                                                                                • Carl Cacodemon
                                                                                  Carl Cacodemon  3 months back

                                                                                  Yo Yo Yo You Talked About Me,
                                                                                  Well maybe my peeps but not myself specifically
                                                                                  Still pretty cool and I thank you a lot
                                                                                  For mentioning me and my mom and pops

                                                                                  • haven adventurer
                                                                                    haven adventurer  3 months back

                                                                                    I’m from Utah. It’s really interesting that camels came from here, when we don’t have them at all today.

                                                                                    • Machine Gun Mike
                                                                                      Machine Gun Mike  3 months back

                                                                                      Do a video about adaptive radiation in the Hawaiian Islands please! :)

                                                                                      • jose juarez
                                                                                        jose juarez  3 months back

                                                                                        What if those llamas and alpacas evolve back to the North American camel if they were brought back over or traveled back to North America

                                                                                        • danimalplanimal
                                                                                          danimalplanimal  3 months back

                                                                                          hilarious that you use a silouette to explain the pacing gait, since it causes the image to be absolutely useless without the commentary since you can't tell which legs are in front.

                                                                                          • Andre Anderson
                                                                                            Andre Anderson  3 months back

                                                                                            Lol camelid explosion...

                                                                                            • Sean Stockton
                                                                                              Sean Stockton  3 months back

                                                                                              and steve