When Natalia Rybczynski unearthed the first few bone fragments on a windswept ridge in Canada’s High Arctic, she knew she was onto something big.
Rybczynski, a paleobiologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, recalls thinking: “This is something kind of off the charts.”
It turns out she had uncovered the remains of the first camel ever found in the High Arctic.
The remarkable discovery, announced Tuesday, shows the humped creatures lived in forests that extended as far north as Ellesmere Island 3.5 million years ago during a global warm spell that the scientists say holds important lessons for the modern world.
“The camel is an ambassador for climate change,” says John Gosse, an earth scientist at Dalhousie University and co-author of the report on the camel published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.
The researchers say the find also provides evidence the camels now plodding over the sand dunes in…
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