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Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Suborder Tylopoda
Family Camelidae


Camelops hesternus—Yesterday's Camel // Camelops traviswhitei—Traviswhite's Camel

Camelops sp.—American CamelRegional Pleistocene distribution of Camelops sp.

Kurtén and Anderson (1980:303-304) characterized the genus as having:

[A] long cranium, flattened dorsally with no interorbital depression, a large lacrimal vacuity, M3 with a posteriorly elongated metastyle, no P3, and long, robust limbs. It differs from Hemiauchenia in having a deeper, more robust premaxilla, a broader, more rugose tip of the rostrum, and a large upper incisor lying opposite the anterior border of the incisive foramen.

Kurtén and Anderson (1980) listed six species of Camelops, but commented that the genus is in need of revision. Most remains identified as Camelops sp. likely represent C. hesternus, but the distribution and questions about the validity of other species makes the assumption dangerous for any single specimen. The genus is widespread throughout the West and into Canada and Mexico.

Terminal dates are 11,190 ± 50 and 11,390 ± 60 BP (Fiedel 2009).

National Park Service drawing of Camelops skull

Fig. 1. Skull of Camelops, courtesy of the U.S. National Park Service.


Quaternary: Nash Draw (Harris 1993c: cf.).

Pleistocene: Cat Wash (Lindsay and Tessman 1974); Manzano Cave (Hibben 1941).

Late Blancan: California Wash (Morgan and White 2005); Curtis Ranch (Lindsay 1984); Fite Ranch (Morgan and Lucas 2003); La Union (Morgan and Lucas 2003: large species); San Simon Fauna (Morgan and White 2005); Tecopa Lake Beds (Woodburne and Whistler 1991).

Irvingtonian: Anza-Borrego (Murray 2008); El Golfo (Croxen et al. 2007); El Paso (UTEP); Elsinore: Microtus/Mammuthus (Pajak et al. 1996).

Late Irvingtonian: Elsinore: Pauba Formation (Pajak et al. 1996).

?Irvingtonian/Early Rancholabrean: San Felipe Hills (Jefferson 1991b).

Late Irvingtonian/Early Rancholabrean: Cadiz (Jefferson 2014: Cf.); Rancho California (Jefferson 1991b); Thorn, Victorville (Jefferson 1991b).

Rancholabrean: Amargosa Desert (Jefferson et al. 2015); Ballona Creek Wash (Jefferson 1991b); Bedford Properties (Jefferson 1991b); Bitter Springs Playa (Jefferson 1991b: ? gen.); Black Butte (Jefferson 1991b); Bow Willow (Jefferson 2014); Brawley Wash (Mead et al. 2005); Calico Road (Jefferson 1991b); Campbell Hill (Jefferson 1991b); Carbon Canyon (Jefferson 1991b); Carizzo Plains (Jefferson 1991b); Centennial Parkway, Las Vegas Valley (Jefferson et al. 2015); Charley Day Spring (Lindsay and Tessman 1974); Chino (Jefferson 1991b: cf. gen.); Coachella (Jefferson 1991b); Coachella Canal 2 (Jefferson 1991b); Conception Station (Jefferson 1991b); Corona, California (Jefferson 1991b: cf. gen.); Culver City East (Jefferson 1991b); Desert Sunlight Project (Jefferson 2014); Detention Basin, Upper Las Vegas Wash (Jefferson et al. 2015: cf.); Edwards Air Force Base (Jefferson 2014: ?); Fenley Hunter (Jefferson et al. 2015); Keams Canyon (Lindsay and Tessman 1974); Laguna Hills (Jefferson 1991b); La Playa (White et al. 2010: cf.); Las Vegas Basin, Las Vegas NW (Jefferson et al. 2015); Las Vegas Wash, SSE Corn Creek Springs (Jefferson et al. 2015); Los Angeles Brick Yard No. 3 (Jefferson 1991b); Melrose Ave. and La Cienega Blvd. (Jefferson 1991a); Old Spring (Jefferson 1991b); Outfall Sewer, Culver City (Jefferson 1991b); Outfall Sewer, Limpo and Exposition, Culver City (Jefferson 1991b); Pinto Basin (Jefferson 1991b); Piute Valley (Jefferson 1991b); Richardson's Ranch (Jefferson et al. 2015); Saltmarsh (Jefferson 1991b); San Bartolo A (White et al. 2010); San Buenaventura (Jefferson 1991b); San Clemente (Jefferson 1991b); Sands (Jefferson 1991b); Sonoita (Mead et al. 2005: cf.); Springerville (McDonald et al. 2004); Surprise Springs (Jefferson 1991b); Tule Springs 1 (Jefferson et al. 2015); Tule Springs 2 (Jefferson et al. 2015); Tule Springs 3 (Jefferson et al. 2015); Tule Springs 4 (Jefferson et al. 2015); Tule Springs 5 (Jefferson et al. 2015); Tule Springs 6 (Jefferson et al. 2015); Tule Springs Stein (Jefferson et al. 2015); Villa Ahumada (UTEP).

Rancholabrean/?Early Holocene: Mitchell Caverns (Jefferson 1991b).

Sangamon: Bent Spring Canyon, Palos Verdes Hills (Jefferson 2014: cf.); Bonito Creek (Jefferson 1991b); Costa Mesa Santa Isabel (Jefferson 2014); La Brisca (Van Devender et al. 1985); Naval Housing Unit (Jefferson 1991b); Newport Bay Mesa (Jefferson 1991b); Palos Verdes Hills, Green Hills Memorial Park (Jefferson 1991b: cf. gen.); San Pedro Lumber Co. (Jefferson 1991b); Union Oil 76 Refinery no. 2, Los Angeles Harbor Yard, San Pedro (Jefferson 1991b).

Wisconsin: Danby Lake (Jefferson 1991c); Imperial Highway (Jefferson 1991b: ? gen.); La Brea Blvd. and San Vicente St. (Jefferson 1991b).

Early Wisconsin: Stevens Lake (Jefferson 1991b).

Early/Early-Mid Wisconsin: New Area, Dry Cave (Harris 1993c); Rm Vanishing Floor (Harris 1993c).

Mid Wisconsin: Pendejo Cave (Harris 2003); U-Bar Cave (Harris 1987: cf.).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Animal Fair (Harris 1993c: cf.); Sandblast Cave (Emslie 1988: cf.); Shelter Cave (Stock 1932).

Late Wisconsin: Big Manhole Cave (Harris 1993c); Burnet Cave (Schultz and Howard 1935: Size of C. kansanus); Corn Springs (Jefferson et al. 2015: large); Cueva Quebrada (Lundelius 1984: cf.); Fain Ranch (Pasenko and Agenbroad 2012); Gypsum Cave (Glowiak and Rowland 2003); Howell's Ridge Cave (Harris 1993c: ?); Isleta Cave No. 1 (Hibben 1941); Isleta Cave No. 2 (cf.) (UTEP); Jal Horse Quarry (Schultz 1943); Manzano Cave (Hibben 1941); Maricopa (Jefferson 1991b); Muskox Cave (Logan 1981: cf.); Salt Creek (UTEP: cf.); Sandia Cave, Folsom Level (Hibben 1941); Sandia Cave, Sandia Level (Hibben 1941); Valley Wells (Reynolds et al. 1991).

Withdrawn: Virden (Morgan and Lucas 2003).

Literature. Croxen et al. 2007; Emslie 1988; Fiedel 2009; Glowiak and Rowland 2003; Harris 1987, 1993c, 2003; Hibben 1941; Jefferson 1991b, 1991c, 2014; Jefferson et al. 2015; Kurtén and Anderson 1980; Lindsay 1984; Lindsay and Tessman 1974; Logan 1981; Lundelius 1972, 1984; McDonald et al. 2004; Mead et al. 2005; Morgan and Lucas 2003; Morgan and White 2005; Murray 2008; Pajak et al. 1996; Pasenko and Agenbroad 2012; Reynolds et al. 1991; Schultz 1943; Schultz and Howard 1935; Stock 1932; Van Devender et al. 1985; Woodburne and Whistler 1991: cf. gen..


Camelops hesternus (Leidy 1873)—Yesterday's CamelRegional Pleistocene distribution of Camelops hesternus

Just as many probable specimens of C. hesternus have been tossed into Camelops sp., likely specimens that are unidentifiable to species have been assigned to C. hesternus as a default choice. The chances are high that most occurrences have not been examined critically.

Dorsal view of the first and second phalanges of Camelops hesternus   Ventral view of the first and second phalanges of Camelops hesternus

Figs. 1 and 2. Dorsal and ventral views of phalanx I (UTEP 41-A3417) (on right in each figure) and phalanx II (UTEP 41-328) of Camelops hesternus from Isleta Cave No. 1. Scale in mm.


Pleistocene: Floyd (Morgan and Lucas 2005); Mockingbird Gap (Morgan and Lucas 2005); Moriarty (Morgan and Lucas 2005); Perico Creek (Morgan and Lucas 2005).

Irvingtonian: Anza-Borrego (Murray 2008).

Early Irvingtonian: Adobe Ranch (Morgan and Lucas 2003: cf.); Gutierrez Gravel Pit (Morgan and Lucas 2005: ?); Tijeras Arroyo (Morgan and Lucas 2005: ?).

Late Irvingtonian or Early Rancholabrean (?): Taiban Creek (Morgan and Lucas 2005).

?Late Irvingtonian/Rancholabrean: Emery Borrow Pit (Jefferson 1991b).

Irvingtonian/Rancholabrean: Manix Lake (Jefferson 1991b: cf.).

Early Rancholabrean: Shoshone Zoo (Jefferson 2014: cf.).

Rancholabrean: Alkali Spring (Morgan and Lucas 2005); Badlands Ranch (Morgan and Lucas 2003); Charley Day Spring (Mead et al. 2005); Choate Ranch (Morgan et al. 2005); Cypress and Slauson avenues, Hyde Park (Jefferson 1991b); Fairbanks Ranch (Jefferson 2014); Fairbanks Ranch South (Jefferson 2014); Fenn Site (Morgan et al. 2005); Jal (Morgan and Lucas 2005); Las Vegas Wash, Big Wash (Jefferson et al. 2015); Metro Rail U.C. Station (Jefferson 2014); Park La Brea B (Jefferson 2014); Roswell (Morgan and Lucas 2005); Santa Cruz (Morgan and Lucas 2005); Searchlight (Jefferson et al. 2015: cf.); Seff (Mead et al. 2005); Siphon 11 (Jefferson 1991b); Sunset Beach (Jefferson 1991b); Tramperos Creek (Morgan and Lucas 2005); Tule Springs General (Jefferson et al. 2015); Tule Springs Scraper (Jefferson et al. 2015); White Mesa (Morgan and Rinehart 2007); Willcox (Mead et al. 2005).

Early Rancholabrean: Albuquerque Gravel Pits (Morgan and Lucas 2005).

Rancholabrean/Early Holocene: Metro Rail Universal City Station (Jefferson 2014).

Sangamon: Pecho Creek (Jefferson 1991b: cf.).

Wisconsin: Carpinteria (Wilson 1933: ? gen.); CC:5:5 (Mead et al. 2003); Costeau Pit (Jefferson 1991b: cf.).

Early/Early-Mid Wisconsin: Lost Valley (Harris 1993c: cf.); Sabertooth Camel Maze (Harris 1993c: cf.).

Mid Wisconsin: CC:5:6 (Mead et al. 2003); McKittrick (Schultz 1937); Shonto (Mead et al. 2005).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Diamond Valley (Springer et al. 2009); Glendale (Jefferson et al. 2015); Rancho La Brea (Stock and Harris 1992); Tule Springs (Mawby 1967).

Late Wisconsin: Anderson Basin et al. (Morgan and Lucas 2005); Antelope Cave (Reynolds, Reynolds, Bell, and Pitzer 1991: cf.); Blackwater Loc. No. 1 (Morgan and Lucas 2005); Calico Lakes (Jefferson 1991b: cf.); Camel Room (Harris 1993c: ?); China Lake (Jefferson 1991b; cf.); Conkling Cavern (Conkling 1932); Double Adobe (Mead et al. 2005); Dove Springs Megafaunal Loc. (Jefferson 2014); Human Corridor (Harris 1993c); Isleta Cave No. 1 (Harris 1993c: cf.); Kokoweef Cave (Reynolds, Reynolds, et al. 1991: cf.); La Mirada (Jefferson 1991b: cf.); Lehner Site (Saunders 1977: cf. gen. et sp.); Murray Springs (Hemming 2007a: cf.); Placitas (Morgan and Lucas 2005); Park Place, Irvine (Jefferson 2014); Schuiling Cave (Jefferson 1991b: cf. gen.); Solar One (Jefferson 1991b: cf.); Stalag 17 (Harris 1993c); Stanton's Cave (Mead et al. 2005); Tule Springs (Mawby 1967); Vulture Cave (Mead and Phillips 1981: cf.).


Conkling 1932; Harris 1993c; Hemmings 2007a; Jefferson 1991b, 2014; Jefferson et al. 2015; Mawby 1967; Mead and Phillips 1981; Mead et al. 2003, 2005; Morgan and Lucas 2003, 2005; Morgan and Rinehart 2007; Murray 2008; Reynolds, Reynolds, et al. 1991; Reynolds, Reynolds, Bell, and Pitzer 1991; Saunders 1977; Schultz 1937; Springer et al. 2009); Stock and Harris 1992); Wilson 1933).


Camelops traviswhitei Mooser and Dalquest 1975—Traviswhite's CamelPleistocene distribution of Camelops traviswhitei


Late Blancan: 111 Ranch (Morgan and White 2005).


Morgan and White 2005.


Camelops minidokae Hay 1927—Minidoka CamelRegional Pleistocene distribution of Camelops minidokae


Irvingtonian: Anza-Borrego (Murray 2008).

Irvingtonian/Rancholabrean: Manix Lake (Jefferson 1991b: aff.).

Literature. Jefferson 1991b; Murray 2008.


Last Update: 27 Jan 2016