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Aepycamelus (Heinrich Harder)


Aepycamelus (Greek for "tall camel"); pronounced AY-peeh-CAM-ell-us


Plains of North America

Historical Epoch:

Middle-Late Miocene (15-5 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 10 feet high and 1,000-2,000 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; long, giraffe-like legs and neck


About Aepycamelus:

Right off the bat, there are two odd things about Aepycamelus: first, this megafauna camel looked more like a giraffe, with its long legs and slender neck, and second, it lived in Miocene North America (not a place one normally associates with camels, whatever the era!) Befitting its giraffe-like appearance, Aepycamelus spent most of its time nibbling the leaves off high trees, and since it lived well before the earliest humans no one ever attempted to take it for a ride (which would have been a difficult proposition, in any case).

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