You probably think of camels as Middle Eastern animals, but scientists now believe that their giant woolly ancestors originated in the wilds of the Arctic and were perfectly happy to dwell in the snow and cold of those northern climes. According to a study published in 2013 in Nature Communications, researchers found evidence that camels lived on Ellesmere Island, 750 miles (1,207 km) north of the Yukon.
Scientists on a Canadian Museum of Nature expedition concluded that the Arctic camel was about 30 percent larger than today’s distant desert cousins. They theorized that camels originated in North America about 45 million years ago, and at some point crossed into Eurasia and migrated south. They also made their way to South America, where they evolved into llamas and alpacas.
Camels in the Arctic: