The giant rhinoceros, which could have been the source of the unicorn myth, survived at least 39,000 years ago, much more than previously thought.
Known as the "Siberian Unicorn", the animal had a long horn in its chest and roamed the prairies of Eurasia.
New evidence indicates that the beast could disappear because it was a very selective eater.
Scientists say that finding more data on the extinction of an animal might help keep the rhinos safe who stayed in planet.
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“Rhinos are especially dangerous for extinction because they are very fussy about their habitat,” said Professor Adrian Lister from the Natural History Museum in London, who led the study.
“Any change in their environment is a danger to him,” he told the BBC. "And, of course, what we also discovered with respect to the fossils is that as soon as the species disappears, it disappears altogether."
The Siberian Unicorn weighed four incredible tons, including an unusual horn, and shared the Earth with modern primitive humans at least 39,000 years ago.
What is known about the ancient rhino?
It was believed that the rhino Elasmotherium sibericum He died out from 200,000 to 100,000 years ago.
But with Carbon 14, dated 23 copies, the researchers found that the giant Ice Age survived in Eastern Europe and Central Asia until nearly 40,000 years ago.
They also succeeded for the first time in isolating the DNA of an ancient rhinoceros, demonstrating how the modern group of rhinos was split about 40 million years ago.
The extinction of the Siberian unicorn marks the end point of a whole group of rhinos.
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Why did he disappear?
The study included the study of the teeth of the animal, which confirmed that it feeds on hard and dry herbs.
"I really wandered like a kind of prehistoric lawn mower … graze when he walked, – compared Lister.
But, exactly, the type of rhinoceros diet may have been his downfall.
When the Earth began to heat up and left the ice age about 40,000 years ago, pasture surfaces began to decline, and this may have caused the animal to disappear.
Hundreds of large mammal species disappeared after the last ice age due to climate change loss of vegetation and The human hunt.
What teaches us the fate of the modern rhino?
Currently, only five species of rhinos remain.
Very few survive outside parks and reserves due to continuous poaching and habitat loss for decades.
Through the study of fossils, scientists can learn more about the fate of many prehistoric rhinoceroses that existed on the planet and how they adapted to climate change and human pressure.
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Where does the unicorn myth come from?
Legends of unicorns or the beast with one horn have existed for thousands of years.
Some claim that the rhino horn This could be the basis of the unicorn myth.
However, other animals, such as the narwhal, cetacean with a huge “canine”, which is a protruding canine, can also be a source of legend.
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