For many decades scientists believed that the Siberian unicorn, Elasmotherium sibiricum, became extinct about 350 000 years ago.
Russian researchers found that is found in Kazakhstan, the skull of a rhinoceros-elasmotherium, which is called “Siberian unicorn”, 320 thousand years younger than previously thought.
The age of the skull was found by scientists using the methods of radiocarbon Dating.
For many decades scientists believed that the Siberian unicorn, Elasmotherium sibiricum, became extinct about 350 000 years ago. But a well-preserved skull, found in Kazakhstan in 2016, proves that these incredible creatures still existed about 29 000 years ago, that is quite able to meet people of the modern type.
Elasmotherium sibiricum was a huge and shaggy and looked like a modern Rhino, only his horn was located on the forehead, not on the nasal bones of the skull, like modern rhinos. According to early descriptions, “Siberian unicorn” was about 2 meters tall, 4.5 meters long and weighed about 4 tons. The structure of its jaws and teeth indicates that the animal ate tubers and bulbs of plants.
“Most likely, in the South of Western Siberia was located refugium in which these rhinos remained longest in comparison with other parts of the area. There is another possibility – they could migrate and just some time to live in the more southern regions,” said the study’s lead author, associate Professor Andrew TSU Spanish.
To the surprise of scientists, the latest elasmotherium was also the largest. His skull is larger than all known Eastern European finds of Elasmotherium sibiricum.
The team hopes that the discovery will help them better understand how environmental factors played a role in the extinction of creatures, because it seems that some of them may have lasted much longer than previously thought, migrating over long distances.
We will add, most of the remains of elastomere was found in Northern Kazakhstan and southern Siberia. However, one skeleton has been found in Ukraine, on the territory of Odessa region. According to scientists, the area of the Siberian unicorn comprised a large part of left-Bank Ukraine.
Interestingly, the study of elasmotherium in the Russian Empire began the Professor Fedor Brandt, one of the best paleontologists of his time. There was a hypothesis that elasmotherium – the prototype of the mythical unicorn. This hypothesis suggested that, apparently, the Professor’s son, Alexander Brandt, Professor of Zoology at Kharkiv University, and the founder and first Director of the Kharkiv zoo.
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