Concept art & # 39; Elasmotherium sibiricum. Imagine: W.S. Van der Merwe / Museum & # 39; Natural History
Weighing more than 7,700 pound x and sports & # 39; & # 39 was out, perhaps the biggest of the rhino horns & # 39; each time, Elasmotherium sibiricum-known b & # 39; popular way as the "Siberian unicorn" -bħalha was an incredible sight to behold.
But despite this spectacular appearance & # 39; Rhino extinct, little knowledge of it. That changed Monday with the publication of & # 39; & # 39 card in, Malta Ecology and Nature Evolution presenting the first DNA analysis of the fossil UNIKORN Siberia.
Ironing by Pavel Kosintsev, paleontologu the Ural Branch of the Academy of Russian Sciences, team & # 39; researchers concluded that the unicorn Siberian died about 39,000 years ago, suggesting that modern humans and Neanderthals split Eurasia with & # 39; this epic beast during her final year in the World. Previous estimates stated that the rhino went extend 200,000 years ago.
Although humans have been implicated in extinctions & # 39; many megafauna species, such as wool mammoths and sloths giants, Kosintsev and his colleagues think that our ancestors maintained their distance from this rhino and that climate change x & # 39; probably was the main factor in his death.
"It is unlikely that the presence of humans was the cause of & # 39; extinction", said co-author Chris Turney, climate scientist at the University & # 39; New South Wales f & # 39; statement. "The unicorn Siberian seems aggrieved by the beginning of the Ice Age in Eurasia where sharp decline in temperature led to an increase in the amount of & # 39; frozen ground, cut hard and dry vegetables lived them and affected populations in a wide region. "
The traditional calendar & # 39; the extinction of Siberia Unicorn was first challenged by E. sibiricum skull trimmed in Kazakhstan in 2016. The skull has been dated to 29,000 years ago only, but the measure was deemed unreliable because the composition of its collagen was not ideal for radjokarbonat.
Kosintsev and his colleagues decided to follow the odd measurements b & # 39; many lines & # 39; evidence. The team made radjukarbonju going on 23 E. sibiricum samples, DNA extracted from six samples, and conducted ecological assessment of the habitat of the rhino fossil and geological evidence.
The samples were dated between 39,000 and 50,000 years, a period associated with the creation of & # 39; anatomically modern humans throughout Eurasia. It also coincides with & # 39; the last event & # 39; extinction of Quaternary, a period lasting up 50,000 4,000 years ago, and included dramatic changes in climate. About 40 percent & # 39; & # 39 species; Northern Eurasian mammals weighing more than 45 kilograms (100 pounds) died during this climatic event, according to the study.
There is a heated debate about whether natural climate change or human pressures pushed some of these species off the edge.
Read more: This ecologist Detects Survival Plans & # 39; the Antropoċene at sunset & # 39; the Ice Age
To inform the impact of climate change on the Siberian unicorn, researchers have isotopic analysis of & # 39; E. sibiricum fossil tooth to rebuild the sources of & # 39; probably his food, and found that these animals were highly specialized grazzaturi estjavi. Herbivores Eurasia b & # 39; dijetti more diversified, such as Saiga antilopju, managed to overcome the climate changes that occurred 40,000 years ago. But as the grassland decreased from these disturbances, the unicorn could Siberian & # 39; slowly changed to & # 39; sunset.
There is always the possibility that humans can & # 39; play a role in the eventual end of & # 39; this animal. but E. sibiricum rarely is depicted in the art of human cave and m & # 39; There is none of his bone record in & # 39; human populations from this period, so the two species probably did not interact much, according the study.
Still, it is amazing to think that humans were around to see the final days of the Siberian Unicorn, one of the most megafauna of Pleistocene majestic.
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