A species of giant two-humped camel, Camelus knoblochi, is known to have lived for approximately a quarter of a million years in Central Asia. A new study in Frontiers in Earth Science shows that C. knoblochi's last refuge was in Mongolia until approximately 27,000 years ago. In Mongolia, the last of the species coexisted with anatomically modern humans and maybe the extinct Neanderthals or Denisovans. While the main cause of C. knoblochi's extinction seems to have been climate change, hunting by archaic humans may also have played a role.
"Here we show that the extinct camel, Camelus knoblochi, persisted in Mongolia until climatic and environmental changes nudged it into extinction about 27,000 years ago," said Dr. John W Olsen, Regents' professor emeritus at the School of Anthropology of the University of Arizona, Tucson.