Unicorns have starred in hundreds of mythological stories, tales and fables. And, although the magical properties that have been attributed to them in many of these stories are not proven, thanks to a recent discovery, these animals could have existed.
However, they would have little to do with the idea of a unicorn that, due to movies, mythology and literature, we have in our imagination. It would be a Siberian unicorn, called elasmotherium sibiricum, and due to its large size, it would actually resemble a rhinoceros or a mammoth more than a horse.
These animals belonged to the rhinoceros family, with which they bear a great resemblance, but their frontal horn was longer and thinner. According to studies, unicorns would reach 2 meters high and 4.5 long, being larger than horses, with which they are sometimes compared.
But, the question on researchers’ minds is how this unicorn was able to live for so much longer than its conspecifics.
“Most likely, southern western Siberia was a sort of refuge where this rhino species persevered longer compared to the rest of its range.”Said a member of the team, Andrei Shpanski.
The team hopes the finding will help better understand how environmental factors play a role in a creature’s extinction, as it appears that some specimens of this species may have lasted much longer than previously thought.
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