When Camels Roamed North America

  • Published on: 20 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: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios

    Super special thanks to the following Patreon patrons for helping make Eons possible:

    Katie Fichtner, Aldo Espinosa Zúñiga, Anthony Callaghan, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle, Gregory Donovan, Ehit Dinesh Agarwal, الخليفي سلطان, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Anel Salas, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Kelby Reid, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, PS, Colin Sylvester, Philip Slingerland, John Vanek, Jose Garcia, Noah offitzer, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Sapjes, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Yuntao Zhou, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Maly Lor, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Sarah Fritts, Ruben Winter, Ron Harvey Jr, Jacob Gerke, Alex Yan

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  • Runtime : 10:12
  • dinosaurs dinos paleo paleontology scishow eons pbs pbs digital studios hank green john green complexly fossils natural history Australia camels outback Protylopus rainforests artiodactyl Tylopoda camel humps cushion feet hooves Poebrotherium grasslands desert the Camelid Explosion Camelinae Aepycamelus pacing gait Megatylopus Paracamelus Camelus Ellesmere Island padded feet Hemiauchenia llama guanacos vicugna Camelops


  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   1 years ago

    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)

  • User Name
    User Name   16 hours ago

    where do you get the cool music?

  • Literal Lace
    Literal Lace   1 days ago

    3:43 oh my God I never expected to hear a bill Wurtz reference on this channel

  • A C
    A C   2 weeks ago

    I have always wondered why do some types of camels have 2 humps and others have 1 humps

  • andrewsky59
    andrewsky59   2 weeks ago

    It would be interesting to learn which modern species evolved from larger pleistocene fauna, and which species co-existed in the pleistocene with larger look-alike species that became extinct; e.g., did grizzlies coexist with short faced bears, or did they evolve from them? Did modern wolves coexist with dire wolves, or did they evolve from them? Etc., etc.

  • Nils Pochat
    Nils Pochat   3 weeks ago

    Funny how 'camel' works for both camels and dromedaries in the english language. It's confusing to me to see that amalgamation of 2 species.

    MAXAA CUSUB   3 weeks ago

    We love this creature in Somalia and it is part of our live

  • Frank Sanchez
    Frank Sanchez   1 months ago

    you guys should hire the guys from bbc walking with dinosaurs special effects to do a full length modern prehistoric series. each of these topics could be an episode. you guys could keep the same narrators and narration style. something like that would be absolutely epic

  • RazeSmokez
    RazeSmokez   1 months ago

    Did you know that Humans may have first domesticated dromedaries in Somalia and southern Arabia around 3,000 BC, and Bactrian camels in central Asia around 2,500 BC, as at Shahr-e Sukhteh (also known as the Burnt City), Iran.

  • Jin Zhang
    Jin Zhang   1 months ago

    3:45 When the devs decide to make your class meta

  • Julianna Findley
    Julianna Findley   1 months ago

    I would love to learn more about how the megafauna of North America went extinct and the roles humans played in their extinction

  • MemoFromEssex
    MemoFromEssex   1 months ago

    I think since I became unemployed two months ago I have learnt so much about evolution and paleontology that I am really beginning to understand it. Fortunately now I have a job!

  • CocoLoco Whatwhat
    CocoLoco Whatwhat   1 months ago

    Wow this taught me a lot. I sum I all up as: Camels are CRAAAAZZZZYYY!!!

  • funboy2013
    funboy2013   1 months ago

    Why do you refer to Camels but show the pictures of dromedari?

  • weshard1
    weshard1   1 months ago

    Can you do an episode with long sleeves, so your gesticulations are not just telling us, "I work out", and actually have some relevance to the subject matter you’re describing?

  • Linda Castaneda
    Linda Castaneda   1 months ago

    I would like to learn about marsupials that were common in South America before North and South America connected.

  • Glozwell
    Glozwell   1 months ago

    They had one natural predator: an early hominid known as Marlboro Man

  • BlowItOutYourCunt
    BlowItOutYourCunt   1 months ago

    Lol, I had no idea that Australia had camels also! Wow , good to know there's at least one animal that won't kill me - just spit on me lol!

  • Stayed Rex
    Stayed Rex   2 months ago

    I lerened more hear than I learn at school

  • Caleb Wolf
    Caleb Wolf   2 months ago


  • Duckmeister
    Duckmeister   2 months ago

    Camelops: the fabled companion of King Arthur.

  • Noah Blackwell
    Noah Blackwell   3 months ago

    Okay but how did they get across the ocean to Africa 😂

  • dinola 326
    dinola 326   3 months ago

    Fantastic documentation. Even in nowerdays femal humans have cameltoes!

  • Amy Reynolds
    Amy Reynolds   3 months ago

    Every time megafauna get mentioned in these videos, my first thought is "Oooo I wanna ride it!"

  • Mario Alfonso
    Mario Alfonso   3 months ago

    So if u go to mart we going to adaptation to no oxygen The moon we going to adaptation to moon no water plus gravity Wow let go to adaptation

  • vijeth12345
    vijeth12345   3 months ago

    It's fascinating that we have learnt all of this in the last 200-250 years!!!

  • Mekalor
    Mekalor   3 months ago

    Everybody's pal, Steve! Thanks, Steve! 😄

  • Mohamed Lamine Benzagouta

    when the Emir poet Edward Ibn Geoffrey used to recite poetry to the princess Ellie Bint Sarah in america.

  • dan hemmerling
    dan hemmerling   3 months ago

    Camels are cool. We here in Australia now have better camels to survive in the desert so that we export camels to the middle east.

  • dipper orange
    dipper orange   3 months ago

    Idk but is it possible to know what animals before sounded like

  • sipioc
    sipioc   4 months ago

    Evolution of the AT-AT

  • cimex749
    cimex749   4 months ago


  • Joe Sales
    Joe Sales   4 months ago

    We also brought camels into the North American deserts during a war (cant remember which one) as they were more efficient at carrying supplies across it than horses, once the camels had outlived their usefulness they were set free on the desert, unlike in Australia though they didnt thrive and died out relatively quickly, sightings of "wild" camels became almost legend in small towns in places like Texas.