‘Siberian Unicorn’ Once Walked Among Early Humans

‘Siberian Unicorn’ Once Walked Among Early Humans

Among the most spectacular of these rhinos was Elasmotherium sibiricum-the Siberian unicorn.

Now there are only five surviving species of rhino on Earth - a small portion of the 250 species that have existed in the Rhinocerotoidea family. Researchers think the Siberian rhino was one of the last extinct species to disappear.

Scientists have thought that the giant rhino went extinct long before the last Ice Age - the megafauna extinction which was the end of other fantastic beasts including the wooly mammoth and sabre-toothed cat.

In the new work, an worldwide team of researchers collected 23 of the instance the bone of a unicorn and subjected them to radiocarbon Dating to find out whether it is possible to fix your DNA and learn more about this animal.

The researchers said the life time and the reason for the extinction of large animal species Elasmotherium sibiricum, which is also called Siberian unicorns or elasmotherium. The new study overcomes these shortcomings, and includes the use of updated fossil dating techniques.

They found that the Siberian unicorn became extinct around 36,000 years ago.

Weighing in at a mighty four tonnes, with an extraordinary single horn on its head, the "Siberian unicorn", shared the earth with early modern humans up until at least 39,000 years ago. An improved radiocarbon dating technique resulted in the revised extinction dates; numerous samples were slathered in preservation materials, requiring careful preparation for the carbon dating.

In addition, the researchers succeeded, for the first time ever, in extracting DNA from the Elasmotherium fossils. Perhaps most impressive among them: Elasmotherium sibiricum.

For the Siberian unicorn, this meant a loss of habitat, and by outcome, the disappearance of a critical food source, as the new study hypothesizes.

The study examined the creature's teeth, finding that the levels of different carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the teeth confirm their diet was most likely exclusively grazing on tough dry, grasses. Interestingly, it's a conclusion that jibes well with similar, but unrelated, research, in which scientists claim that humans weren't responsible for many megafaunal extinctions of the Ice Age.

They suggest that the "Siberian unicorn," which would have lived in modern-day Russian Federation and had range that extended to areas in Mongolia, northern China and Kazakhstan, went extinct due to environmental changes that affected the sort of grasses and herbs it used to eat, the study's authors wrote in the Conversation. "Instead it is more probable that dramatic fluctuations in climate during this time period, coupled with the specialized grazing lifestyle and the rhinos' naturally low population numbers pushed the species to the edge". Sadly, the same can not be said for the ongoing sixth mass extinction, which is most certainly our fault.

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