Extinct ‘Siberian unicorn’ may have lived alongside humans, fossil suggests

Extinct ‘Siberian unicorn’ may have lived alongside humans, fossil suggests

Scientists said that creature, which looked more like a rhino than a horse, went extinct 29,000 years ago instead of 350,000 after finding skull in Kazakhstan

An extinct creature sometimes described as a “Siberian unicorn” roamed the Earth for much longer than scientists previously thought, and may have lived alongside humans, according to a study in the American Journal of Applied Science.

Scientists believed Elasmotherium sibiricum went extinct 350,000 years ago. But the discovery of a skull in the Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan provides evidence that they only died out about 29,000 years ago.

Unfortunately, despite its sizable horn, the “Siberian unicorn” looked more like a rhinoceros than the mythical creature its nickname refers to. It was about 6 feet tall, 15 feet long, and weighed about 9,000 pounds, making it more comparable to a woolly mammoth than a horse.

The researchers are now studying how this creature was able to survive so much longer than many of its kind.

“Most likely, the south of Western Siberia was a refúgium [refuge], where this rhino persevered the longest in comparison with the rest of its range,” Andrei Shpanski, a paleontologist at Tomsk State University, told Phys.org. “There is another possibility that it could migrate and dwell for a while in the more southern areas.”

Source: The Guardian

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