Siberian unicorn - rhino species weighs up to 3.5 tons of extinction due to climate change, not by humans

For a long time, scientists argued about what forced the Siberian Unicorns to extinction, human or climate.

It weighs approximately 3.5 tons and probably possesses the largest horn of any species of large animal family, the Elasmotherium sibiricum - better known as the "wild" than the Siberian Unicorn - once bravely walked on the surface of the Earth. But besides the "rhino-like" appearance, we don't know much about big animals.

At least just last November. With the paper published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, we had the first DNA analysis of the Unicorn, with DNA from fossils preserved from tens of thousands of years ago.

Led by Pavel Kosintsev, a palaeontologist at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the team of researchers has come to the conclusion that the species of Siberia extinct from 39,000 years ago means that people modern and Neanderthals have walked on the Eurasian Continent next to the giant animal. Previous studies have shown that the extinct rhinoceros 200,000 years ago has been completely removed.

Many large animals coexist with modern humans who have become extinct by hunting, including mammoth elephants or giant sloths, but Kosintsev and his colleagues argue that human ancestors were not inspired. Very interesting with the rhino. The main reason for the extinction of Siberian Unicorns is climate change.

"It is likely that human presence is not the reason for the massive rhinos to be extinct," said study co-author Chris Turney, a climate researcher at the University of New South Wales. "It seems that the Siberian unicorn is heavily influenced by the climate of the early Ice Age. In Eurasian continent, the temperature dropped extremely deep, causing the ground to freeze, withered grasses that made animals belong a large area has seriously reduced ".

Affirming "extinction from 200,000 years ago" shook for the first time in 2016, when scientists found the skull of Elasmotherium sibiricum in Kazakhstan, dating to only 29,000 years old. However, the scientific community denies this finding, suggesting that the collagen component in the skull has made the dating of carbon dating wrong.

Kosintsev decided to back up new evidence with another series of studies. They conducted the dating of 23 other Siberian Unicorns, with DNA samples from six individuals, opposite the data on the giant rhino's habitat.

Chronology of fossil samples falls between 39,000 and 50,000 years, when modern humans appeared in Eurasia. This time also coincided with the genocide event at the end of the Quaternary, when the global climate changed markedly. According to reports, about 40% of mammals weighing more than 45 kg live in Eurasian continents are killed after this time.

For a long time, scientists have argued about what forces the organisms to live up to the point of extinction, being human or climate.

To accurately determine the impact of climate change on Siberian Unicorns, the researchers analyzed isotopes of rhino teeth fossils, recreated the food source it had chewed and found that the This plant specializes in eating plants in the grasslands of Southeast Europe and Siberia. "Easy" herbivores that eat a variety of plants will survive the climate change period. The grass-eating Siberia Unicorn died slowly due to lack of food.

There is still a certain proportion of people who contribute to the giant rhino to the brink of extinction, even though we still have evidence of our "innocence": the paintings on the walls do not mention mentioning Ky Siberian unicorns, and also did not find this rhino bone in human habitats at the time of the extinct unicorn.

There is only one thing for sure: our ancestors have witnessed the disappearance of one of the most beautiful and miraculous creatures ever walking on the Earth.