Monday , May 10 2021

"Siberian unicorn" is a victim of the disappearance of the ice age

Today there are only five surviving rhinoceros species, although in the past they had up to 250 species at different times. Weighing up to 3.5 tonnes, Elasmotherium sibiricum was no doubt one of the most impressive. It has long been suggested that this fantastic beast has disappeared well before the last Ice Age. Its disappearance, preceding the massive disappearance of the megafauna, which saw the end of the magical mammoth, the Irish Elk and the coat of swords, but a new study challenged the date of death of these beings.

Prof. Adrian Lister, Research Merit at the Museum of Natural History, says: "This mega-faint event of extinction did not happen until about 40,000 years ago. elastomotors with its apparent extinction date 100,000 years or more, is not considered part of the same event.

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,

Professor Lister then collaborated with researchers from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Russia, who gave a total of 23 copies. The data on radiocarbon dating obtained using state-of-the-art methodologies shows that this species survives at least 39,000 years and potentially up to 35,000 years.

The further study reveals more about the biology and possible behavior of the species. The researchers examined the stable isotope ratios in the rhinoceros teeth, which included testing the levels of various carbon and nitrogen isotopes, and then compared them to different plants, allowing them to determine what the animals eat. The results confirm that the "Siberian unicorn" is most likely to grazing on hard, dry grasses.

elastomotors of The last days have been shared with early modern humans and Neanderthals, 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, combined with the specialized grazing method and the naturally low numbers of rhinoceros populations, pushed the species to the brink.

Adrian's colleagues in Australia are also able to retrieve DNA from some of the fossils, the first time DNA has ever been recovered from E. sibiricumThis helped settle the debate about the place where the Siberian unicorn, along with all other members of the Elastrotherium horn, fit into the evolutionary tree of a rhinoceros. The ancient group split from the modern group of rhinos about 43 million years ago, making the Siberian unicorn the last kind of distinctive and ancient language.

The results of the study are published in Ecology and evolution of nature,

It's over

Notes to editors

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