Tens of thousands of years old paintings on the rocks of the Gobi Desert (Mongolia) have led the way to the world full of large but oversized camel-like creatures, which existed in parallel with two ancient human species.
The study, published in Frontiers in Earth Science, introduced Camelus knoblochi, an extinct camel species of camel whose size can be frightening to modern humans: up to 3 meters tall, weighing 1 ton.
And Mongolia is the place to hide the mystery of their evaporation 27,000 years ago.
Ancient paintings depict an unusually large creature that prehistoric people hunted .
This giant beast has existed in parallel with the two ancient human species that once occupied this harsh land: Neanderthals and Denisovans, two species of the same genus Homo (Homo) as our modern humans Homo sapiens, and famous for being good hunters.
According to Ancient Origins, the team led by Dr. John W. Olsen, Executive Director of the Je Tsongkhapa Foundation for Central and Inner Asian Archaeology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, traced clues from paintings on the walls of prehistoric human caves in the Mongolian region, description: a camel-like creature, which has 2 humps but is unusually large. Some paintings depict the little man trying to fight this “beast”.
They searched and analyzed five bones of camelus knoblochi’s legs and feet, collected in the Tsagaan Agui cave in Mongolia in 2021 alongside the bones of wolves, cave hyenas, Mongolian hyenas, rhinos, horses, wild donkeys, wild sheep, etc.
The analysis showed that they were large but rather naïve animals, living on steppes, mountains and lowlands, not just in the desert like the Bactrian camel – its tiny modern relative.
If alive, this giant camel would be an enlarged version of the Bactrian camel in the photo – (Photo: ilyaska/ Adobe Stock)
It seems that the cause of camelus knoblochi’s extinction was due to a lack of adaptability to biomes and desert landscapes, combined with the extreme changes of the climate 27,000 years ago.
At the same time, human hunting may have hastened the extinction of giant camels, as no evidence has been found that Neanderthals and Denisovans domesticated them, but there are traces that they ate them.
However, since these two species became extinct about 30,000-40,000 years ago, it is possible that the giant camel Camelus knoblochi lived a little longer, but in the end nature ended up the rest of the work on the last few group of individuals.