Camels are known as animals that live in the desert and dry. However, in the past, in the mid Pliosene era, ancestors of this animal was never alive in the cold, very close to the pole.
This fact was revealed from the findings of fossil camels by the research team at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.
The research team, which was led by Natalia Rybczynski paleobiology managed to find a fossil camel estimated 3.5 million-year-old on Ellesmere Island. The island is located in the northernmost part of Canada, Nunavut.
"This fossil is the first evidence showing that camels once lived in the area," said Rybczynski told LiveScience, Tuesday (03/05/2013).
"These findings surprised us. Reason, we often associate the camel as the animals that live in temperate habitats dry (arid) and semi-dry (semi-arid)," he explained again.
There are 30 pieces of bone which is part shin camel fossils have been found of the research team. The bones were then identified using collagen fingerprinting method. The amount of protein, called Collagen Type I, which is contained in the bone were calculated.
According to analysis published today in the journal Nature Communications revealed that the ancestors of the camel that found 3.5 million years old and a size 1/3 times larger than modern camels alive today.
Rybczynski said the circumstances at the time of 3.5 million years ago is indeed possible for a camel to live in areas close to the poles. Mid Pliosene era was known as a warm condition. Global temperature during that 2-3 degrees Celsius warmer than the current temperature.
Going forward, Rybczynski and his team plan to continue searching for the camel in the area around the North Pole. "We hope to find more evidence," said Rybczynski.