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The Prehistoric Rhino Thread- Rhinos, unicorns and indricotheres

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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Victoriaceros, a Miocene rhinoceros. It was closely related to Elasmotherium, the so called Giant Unicorn of Eurasia.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/713663440t2xv382/

    1507584150_9e5833f2b4.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula


    That drawing makes it look like a real monster doesn't it. I wonder if it was a placid creature like a modern rhino.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Rubecula wrote: »
    That drawing makes it look like a real monster doesn't it. I wonder if it was a placid creature like a modern rhino.

    The drawing actually depicts Elasmotherium, there are no pics of Victoriaceros just yet.
    White rhinos may be placid, but according to what I've read, Indian rhinos are quite ill-tempered and umpredictable. Who knows what sort of temper these guys had...


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭Galvasean




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Hapless prehistoric rhino was "baked alive":

    http://www.dnaindia.com/scitech/report_rhino-fossil-found-preserved-in-volcanic-eruption_1768109

    It was a Ceratotherium neumayri, a close relative to today's white rhino.
    fosil_rinoceronte.jpg


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Fossils of hornless rhino found in Thailand:

    http://phys.org/news/2013-06-species-hornless-rhino-late-miocene.html

    5-anewspecieso.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Rhinoceros fossils found on Norfolk beach:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2939360/Prehistoric-RHINO-uncovered-Norfolk-beach-Stormy-weather-revealed-700-000-year-old-creature-s-teeth.html

    They're from a Stephanorhinus, which was about the size of modern day white rhinos.

    stephanorhinus-etruscus1-cropped-490x290_126917_1.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Hunters find frozen woolly rhino. And it's a calf, too; the first ever found.


    http://www.wired.com/2015/03/hunters-find-frozen-10000-year-old-baby-wooly-rhino/

    IMG_58951.jpeg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Siberian unicorn did coexist with humans

    (It was to be expected, considering the mythology from those regions)

    http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/giant-siberian-unicorn-may-have-existed-same-time-humans-fossilized-skull-hints

    Elasmotherium-sibiricum-siberian-unicorn-002.jpg.838x0_q80.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,108 Mod ✭✭✭✭Wibbs


    Quality content from our very own AK, as per usual. Long may it continue. :)

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula


    Very interesting, never heard of the beast before, it must have been fearsome at those sizes too.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Indeed, it was comparable in size to many ceratopsians.

    elasmoterium.png

    Russian folklore speaks of Indrik, a giant one-horned beast that made the earth shake when it walked and ruled over all other beasts. It may be a cultural memory of Elasmotherium, yet gives its name to the larger but hornless Indricotherium that lived much earlier, long before man.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Oddly, this is seemingly news again:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46358789

    _104508799_vandermerweimage.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula


    Some have argued that the horn of the rhino may have been the basis of myths about unicorns, although other animals - such as the tusked narwhal - are more likely contenders.

    I am undecided on whether these people understand the difference between a 4 legged creature and a marine whale like creature :eek:


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    I find it unlikely that the narwhal had much to do with the Evenk stories of giant unicorns, since they described the horn as being so thick and massive that it took a sled to transport it. Their description of the beast was also pretty consistent (unlike the unicorns of medieval Europe which are a rather motley bunch). They said the giant unicorn was black, with the giant horn coming from its forehead rather than the snout, and with long legs which allowed it to charge at high speed at Evenk riders.
    Elasmotherium fits the description perfectly- even if the actual horn has never been found preserved (but this is not so weird since it would've been made of keratin). There's also a cave painting that may represent Elasmotherium with its horn.

    latest?cb=20130105122352&path-prefix=es

    Earlier accounts of unicorns from elsewhere however are confusing because they seem to refer to different animals. Ctesias in the fifth century BC spoke of a kind of unicorn from India which came in black, white and red colors, which makes me think of the blackbuck, in which the male is dark brown/black and white, and the female is reddish:

    RS915_100_2563.jpg

    Of course they have two horns but when seen from the side:

    attachment.php?attachmentid=7625&stc=1&d=1313600670

    The spiraling, segmented horn looks a lot more like the horn seen in some unicorn depictions (and it would explain why the narwhal's tusk was identified with the unicorn as it also looks somewhat similar). The blackbuck's horns are around 70 cm long which is exactly what Ctesias states for the unicorn's horn.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula


    Adam Khor wrote: »
    I find it unlikely that the narwhal had much to do with the Evenk stories of giant unicorns, since they described the horn as being so thick and massive that it took a sled to transport it. Their description of the beast was also pretty consistent (unlike the unicorns of medieval Europe which are a rather motley bunch). They said the giant unicorn was black, with the giant horn coming from its forehead rather than the snout, and with long legs which allowed it to charge at high speed at Evenk riders.
    Elasmotherium fits the description perfectly- even if the actual horn has never been found preserved (but this is not so weird since it would've been made of keratin). There's also a cave painting that may represent Elasmotherium with its horn.

    latest?cb=20130105122352&path-prefix=es

    Earlier accounts of unicorns from elsewhere however are confusing because they seem to refer to different animals. Ctesias in the fifth century BC spoke of a kind of unicorn from India which came in black, white and red colors, which makes me think of the blackbuck, in which the male is dark brown/black and white, and the female is reddish:

    RS915_100_2563.jpg

    Of course they have two horns but when seen from the side:

    attachment.php?attachmentid=7625&stc=1&d=1313600670

    The spiraling, segmented horn looks a lot more like the horn seen in some unicorn depictions (and it would explain why the narwhal's tusk was identified with the unicorn as it also looks somewhat similar). The blackbuck's horns are around 70 cm long which is exactly what Ctesias states for the unicorn's horn.

    I have always thought this the most likely idea.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    This is the so called Kolyma woolly rhino (Coelodonta antiquitatis), found in 2007 at the opening of a gold mine in Yakutia. It was a female, weighing about 1.5 tons, and lived around 39.000 years ago. The woolly coat is not preserved but most of the animal's body is.

    One of the most spectacular Pleistocene specimens in my opinion.

    67898455_1544700035655230_664285055320850432_n.jpg?_nc_cat=103&_nc_oc=AQmmWLdhCTtLvdZipUYfORhjsOoVqrIuow2Ft8mhrvOJlO76g-1V8VdoojETTfkD8dr31fHBmKiLI3DdB3CORJJG&_nc_ht=scontent.fgdl5-1.fna&oh=7187d40a24f7ff66b09620288c9e5c8a&oe=5DE26369

    68241715_1544700078988559_2401257112148639744_n.jpg?_nc_cat=108&_nc_oc=AQkhv_15G5X7WN3Ge4MJE-X_EpvUXDgSTqUyMgfumSm3z4zYVnlWXbbIhAhIrOMMbra0JI4auvdq0EEF1DWSCTRY&_nc_ht=scontent.fgdl5-1.fna&oh=11f9ea7a690734cab34c77cf3f10de5b&oe=5DD47770

    68333974_1544700072321893_8898307278143225856_n.jpg?_nc_cat=100&_nc_oc=AQkPp-JZLfDvJT_Y6JY09h8chGr1KEgqkdnzhpka0dP8awLDOmChjaMcFqbBWXGvEG8X5rnqTpd1com2Ptwac0z7&_nc_ht=scontent.fgdl5-1.fna&oh=edbbc61875a6ab390285bf32878df402&oe=5DD6ED50


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula


    amazingly small in stature I feel but it looks very powerful


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Rubecula wrote: »
    amazingly small in stature I feel but it looks very powerful

    At 1.5 tons it IS rather small for a woolly rhino. The biggest males could weigh up to 2.5-3 tons, being in the same size range as today's Indian and white rhinos.

    A very interesting trait is the shape of the nasal horn, laterally flattened into a blade-like shape, rather than round in cross section like a modern rhino's. The unusual shape led to the horns' early misidentification as the talons of an enormous prehistoric bird, "Gryphus antiquitatis".


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Rhinoceros and turtle remains found in the Canadian Yukon:

    http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology/miocene-rhinoceroses-yukon-07760.html

    image_7760_1-Yukon-Rhinoceros.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Prehistoric rhino fossils found at Slovenian railway track:

    https://www.total-slovenia-news.com/lifestyle/5705-120-000-yr-old-rhino-found-at-second-railway-track

    The fossils may belong to a Stephanorhinus, a large form comparable in size to today's white rhinoceros but more closely related to the Sumatran rhino, which lived across Eurasia during the early and mid Pleistocene.

    4c3baddecd17c70b34c2ab69150f40dd_XL.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Interesting article sums up what we know about the woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis)' appearance, based on both remains and prehistoric art.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20150524043140/https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/the-remarkable-life-appearance-of-the-woolly-rhino/

    fighting-Woolly-rhinos-at-Chauvet-600-px-tiny-Nov-2012.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Study suggests climate change may have doomed woolly rhinos:

    https://www.popsci.com/story/animals/woolly-rhino-climate/

    LIWMXS43JNFSTLFYN6B5MRD3A4.JPG


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Another frozen juvenile woolly rhino from Yakutia!

    This time its a 3-4 year old calf, with preserved internal organs, teeth, even food remains. It may have died by drowning and apparently during the summer, as it had short fur at the moment of death.

    https://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/a-well-preserved-woolly-rhino-with-its-last-meal-still-intact-found-in-the-extreme-north-of-yakutia/

    information_items_7939.jpg


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