The antique rhino species, known as the Siberian unicorns, has been in the Eurasian steppe for much longer than previously thought.
According to a new study published in the scientific journal “Nature Ecology and Evolution”, the Siberian unicorn “Elasmotherium sibiricum” died out some 35,000 years ago.
Once upon a time, there were at least 250 species of rhinos, but today there are only five remaining. Researchers believe that Siberian unicorns were one of the last species of rhinoceros to die out.
So far, scientists have argued about the association of these specimens with other rhinos species, but new genetic analysis as part of the study has helped to clarify.
“The ancestors of the Siberian unicorn 40 million years ago were different from the other rhinos that lived at that time. This makes the Siberian unicorn a much more distant relative of the African white rhinos than the human to monkey. ”
The Siberian unicorn looked like a huge buffalo with a massive horn fluttering out of its muzzle, and an adult could weigh as much as 3.5 tonnes. For millions of years, these mammals paddled the steppes of Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and North China.
Scientists had previously speculated that Siberian unicorns disappeared 200,000 years ago, but recent research suggests that these animals were still on the earth 35,000 years ago.
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To arrive at this discovery, scientists had to analyze the remains of 23 different Siberian unicorns.
Scientists have also hypothesized that the extinction of this species might not be the fault of man, but the Ice Age.