I wish I’d written the title of this post, but I didn’t. It’s actually the title of today’s post on one of my favorite blogs, Twilight Beasts. This blog is dedicated to the wonderful animals of the Pleistocene, and the camel in question is Gigantocamelus, aka the Nebraska camel.
That means pretty much what it sounds like: a giant camel that lived in what is now Nebraska. And it had fangs. Or at least really big teeth. Click to read all about the Nebraska camel, and see a very cool artist’s reconstruction that compares it to a classic Volkswagen Beetle. (The camel is way bigger.)
The author isn’t the only person who associates the camel with Christmas and Nativity scenes. In Michigan and Indiana, “living Nativities” are popular Christmas festivities sponsored by many churches, popular enough that some local farms actually keep camels so they can rent them out every weekend during the holiday season. No living Nativity is complete without at least one camel, and the fanciest ones have three, one for each Wise Man. So if you’re driving through the area and see what looks like a dromedary chewing its cud among the Holsteins and horses, you aren’t seeing things
I’ve always wanted to do a comic about a living Nativity with extinct animals: aurochs and ground sloths and mammoths and giant Nebraska camels.