‘Sunken Ship of the Desert’ Found Along Danube Waterway

The skeleton of a camel that lived in the seventeenth century amidst the second Ottoman- Habsburg war has been found in a decline pit in Austria.

Analysts said that the creature would have been to a degree an “alien” along the Danube Waterway in Tulln, Austria, the calling it a “sunken ship in the desert.”

Alfred Galik, an analyst at the College of Veterinary Medication Vienna and one of the researchers who dealt with the study specifying the revelation said,” Camels are alien species in Europe and Austria, the settlement of Tulln is closely situated to the large river/stream of the Danube.” The “sunken ship” expression “should bring together this buried/sunken ship of the desert — with Tulln and the Danube a place where no camels naturally appear,” Galik told Live Science in an email.

Furthermore, as opposed to being a problem, this camel was likely an important creature used for transportation, as the specialists discovered no reasonable indications of joint pain on the camel’s bones. Rather, symmetrical stamps on the shoulder bones and parts of the humerus bones likely came about because of the anxiety of a rider getting on and off of the camel.

Galik stated that the camel had abnormal parents: It was destined to a Bactrian camel (two-hump) father and a dromedary (one-hump) mother, the scientists found while examining the bones and breaking down the camel’s DNA. The crisscross between the one-hump dromedary and the two- hump Bactrian brought about a camel with one wide-ranging hump.

“Such crossbreeding was not unusual at the time,” Galik said in a statement. “Hybrids were easier to handle, more enduring and larger than their parents. These animals were especially suited for military use.”

With respect to how the camel became acquainted with, the specialists assumed that maybe it originated from the Ottoman armed forces when Tulln was being assaulted, Galik stated.


He added,” That means the cadaver was not butchered, and the flesh was not used — what remains as an untypical behavior, especially in times of war,” Galik said. The Tulln inhabitants may not have wanted to eat the flesh of the camel because it was such an “alien animal.”

Specialists found that the camel — whose remaining parts were found in a characteristic “post death” position, with its neck bowed regressive and its legs pulled up toward its body — was a grown-up male, older than 7 years when it passed on.


The study is detailed online today (April 1) in the journal PLOS ONE.


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