Scientists have recently discovered a 29,000-year-old skull, revealing the unexpected mystery of the last one-horned unicorn that once lived on Earth in Siberia.
Several decades ago, scientists estimated that the Siberian unicorn, a mammal that looked more like a rhino than a mythical unicorn, was long extinct, about 350,000 years ago.
However, scientists recently discovered an intact, well-preserved skull in the Pavlodar region, Kazakhstan, which has completely changed the above reasoning.
Using the method of radiocarbon dating, a team at Tomsk State University (Kazakhstan) discovered that the Siberian unicorn was actually still alive up to 29,000 years ago.
The discovery of the skull reveals the mystery of the last unicorn in Siberia – Photo 1. TheSiberian unicorn doesn’t look quite like the pictures in children’s books. Illustration.
This shows that this strange creature turned out to be around here some tens of thousands of years ago. Of course, it also doesn’t quite match the unicorn images in the pages of children’s books.
Accordingly, the real-life Siberian unicorn, scientifically known as Elasmotherium sibiricum, has a gray appearance, very large size and looks quite similar to today’s rhinoceros.
Based on initial analysis and description, the Siberian unicorn is about 2 meters tall when standing, about 4.5 meters long and weighs up to 4 tons. It was huge, closer in size to a mammoth than a horse.
The Siberian unicorn looks quite like a modern rhinoceros as it has only one of the largest, protruding horns on its forehead. However, the unicorn’s horn is elongated and pointed, which is different from the large horn of a rhinoceros.
Interestingly, although the Siberian unicorn has a large body size, their main food is likely to be grass.
Based on the “giant” size and condition of the skull, the researchers speculated that it was most likely an older male, but the cause of this strange creature’s death is still unclear. .
This has always puzzled scientists as to why this unicorn can live so much more than its contemporaries that went extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago.
The discovery of the skull reveals the mystery of the last unicorn in Siberia – Photo 2.This unicorn has the ability to live longer than creatures of the same time. Photo: Scientificalert
Andrey Shpanski, a member of the research team, said:
“The southern region of Western Siberia is most likely a refúgium where these unicorns were able to survive a period of unfavorable habitat such as the ice age.
Another possibility is mysterious creatures. This species can move and reside in areas further south”.
The team hopes the finding will help them better understand how environmental factors influence the species’ extinction, because it seems that some individuals can live much longer than thought. predictably by migrating over great distances.
In addition, understanding how animals have survived for so long and why they disappeared will also help us have more options in the future.
The study results were published in the American Journal of Applied Science.