The ribs of these animals have a rather strange shape.
Scientists have found woolly rhinoceros cervical rib – a sign, indicating inbreeding and the negative impact of the environment on the fetus during its formation.
The study was published in the journal PeerJ.
This information can be used when observing modern populations of rhinos.
Cervical (extra) rib is a small fibrous formation, usually located at one of the cervical vertebrae. In modern animals it is quite rare.
Although by themselves cervical rib is fairly harmless, their presence indicates inbreeding and adverse environmental conditions during pregnancy. The studied remains were recovered from the bottom of the North sea and the river deltas in the Netherlands, where he was one of the last populations.
However, the lack of cervical ribs not to say that modern rhinos healthy. The number of animals is decreasing rapidly, especially in the last 20 years – some species are on the verge of extinction.
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The researchers hope that the findings will draw attention to the ridges rhinos, changes in which can indicate increased risk of extinction.
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