Wednesday , May 5 2021

Unicorns, weighing more than 3500 kg, once walked around the ground, scientists say

Weighing about 3.5 tons, with a horrible horn on his head, this prehistoric animal, known as the Siberian Unicorn, was destroyed more than 100,000 years ago.

Despite its disappearance, the most recent research shows that the beast shared the land with the early modern humans until 35,000 years ago.

The ancient rhino is known as Elasmotherium sibericum (Siberian unicorn) because of its exceptional horn.

It was believed to have disappeared between 200,000 and 100,000 years.

However, a "beautiful full skull" at the Museum of Natural History has helped challenge the date of the alleged cessation of this creature.

Professor Adrian Lister, a paleobiologist who studies evolution and disappearance, said a new study revealed that the "ice age giant" survived much later than previously thought.

"We gave a few specimens – like the beautiful full skull that we have in the museum – and to our surprise, they came in less than 40,000 years," he said.

Professor Lister collaborates with colleagues from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Russia on radiocarbon – a total of 23 copies.

Using the most up-to-date methods, dating showed that the species "survived to at least 39,000 years and eventually 35,000 years ago."

The study also included a study of the teeth of Siberian unicorns to reveal what the animals eat. The results confirmed that they were most likely passionate on healthy, dry grasses.

The Museum of Natural History has said that the last days of ancient species of "rhinoceroses" have been shared with early modern humans and Neanderthals.

She added, "However, the presence of people is unlikely to be the cause of extinction.

"Instead, it is more likely that the dramatic fluctuations in climate during this period of time, coupled with the specific grazing lifestyle and the naturally low number of rhinoceros populations, have pushed the edge."

Australian researchers have researched DNA from some of the fossils – the first time DNA has been recovered from E. sibiricum – and found that the ancient rhinoceros "has split from the modern group of rhinos some 43 million years ago."

This makes the Siberian unicorn the "last species of an extremely distinctive and ancient line".

Today there are only five surviving rhinoceros species, although in the past they had up to 250 species at different times.

This story originally appeared in the Sun and was published here with permission.

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