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Canada’s north home to bears, and once, camels

Published: Wednesday, March 6 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

The New York Times reports fossilized remains of a giant camel that have been found in Canada's Arctic region. (Associated Press) The New York Times reports fossilized remains of a giant camel that have been found in Canada's Arctic region. (Associated Press)

The New York Times reports fossilized remains of a giant camel that have been found in Canada's Arctic region.

"OTTAWA — Though camels are usually associated with the searing heat of the desert, a group of scientists reported on Tuesday that they had found fossilized remains of a giant camel, with a shoulder height of perhaps nine feet, in Canada’s frigid high Arctic.

"'It’s a surprise when you first hear it,' said Natalia Rybczynski, a paleontologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, who discovered the bone fragments in 2006. 'But the Arctic in the winter was like a desert at that time.'

"Dr. Rybczynski said that though scientists have long believed that camels originated in North America and then spread throughout the world, the remains were found about 750 miles north of what was previously the northernmost known camel fossil, a giant found in Canada’s Yukon Territory in 1913.

“'It’s just kind of stunning that it’s more than 1,000 kilometers away,' said Dr. Rybczynski, the lead author of a paper about the camel published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications."

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