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Temporal range: Miocene–Pliocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Suborder: Tylopoda
Family: Camelidae
Genus: Megacamelus
Frick (1929)
  • M. merriami

Megacamelus is an extinct genus of terrestrial herbivore in the family Camelidae, endemic to North America from the Miocene through Pliocene 10.3—4.9 mya, existing for approximately 5.4 million years.[1]

This was the largest species of camelid to roam the Earth.


Megacamelus was named by Frick (1929). It was assigned to Camelidae by Frick (1929) and Honey et al. (1998).[2]


Four specimens were examined for estimated body mass by M. Mendoza, C. M. Janis, and P. Palmqvist. These specimens were estimated to weigh:

  • 3,695.7 kg (8,100 lb)
  • 3,059.8 kg (6,700 lb)
  • 2,246.8 kg (5,000 lb)
  • 1,747.9 kg (3,900 lb) [3]

Fossil distribution[edit]

Fossils have been found from Nebraska to Idaho to Southern California.


  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Megacamelus, basic info
  2. ^ J. G. Honey, J. A. Harrison, D. R. Prothero and M. S. Stevens. 1998. Camelidae. In C. M. Janis, K. M. Scott, and L. L. Jacobs (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America 1:439-462
  3. ^ M. Mendoza, C. M. Janis, and P. Palmqvist. 2006. Estimating the body mass of extinct ungulates: a study on the use of multiple regression. Journal of Zoology 270(1):90-101