Prehistoric camel bones unearthed in Mesa

Always low prices… and occasionally, 10,000-year-old camels:

PHOENIX, Arizona (AP) — Workers digging at the site of a future Wal-Mart store in suburban Mesa have unearthed the bones of a prehistoric camel that’s estimated to be about 10,000 years old. …

Arizona State University geology museum curator Brad Archer hurried out to the site Friday when he got the news that the owner of a nursery was carefully excavating bones found at the bottom of a hole being dug for a new ornamental citrus tree.

Just think, perhaps 10,000 years from now, some future human civilization will be discovering the fossilized remains of “ornamental citrus trees” in the Arizona desert, and trying to come up with some theory to explain why such things existed. Little do they know, the answer is… Wal-Mart.

Anyway, continuing with the article:

“There’s no question that this is a camel; these creatures walked the land here until about 8,000 years ago, when the same event that wiped out a great deal of mammal life took place,” Archer told The Arizona Republic. …

“In my 15 years at ASU doing this work I can think of six or seven times when finds this important have been made,” Archer said. “This is the first camel. Others have been horses, once a mammoth on Happy Valley Road. This sort of thing is extremely rare.”

Archer declined to comment on whether any of the previous five or six “finds this important” involved finding inebriated ASU coeds willing to flash a museum curator.

(Hat tip: Scott Fort.)

UPDATE: Here’s the original article from the Arizona Republic. It contains this important nugget of information:

[T]he find [will] not change the construction schedule at the Wal-Mart site.

I’m sure we can all rest easier knowing that even 10,000-year-old camels can’t stand in the way of Wal-Mart’s plans. Nor do the camels get health insurance. :)

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