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Siberian unicorns were removed by climate change, shows a new study

Close your eyes and imagine, if you want, a unicorn. Perhaps you imagine a blunt run down a rainbow with…

Close your eyes and imagine, if you want, a unicorn. Perhaps you imagine a blunt run down a rainbow with an elegant horn that adorns it on the forehead – the kind of creature that would not look in place in the franchise “My Little Pony”. Unfortunately, I’m here to burst your bubble: New research has discovered details about the origins and extinction of Elasmotherium Siberian otherwise known as “Siberian Unicorn”. Reality is a bit less “My little pony” And a little more massive, shaggy ice age rhino with a huge single horn. And as it turns out, the Siberian unicorn was another climate change.

Published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution the research showed the first DNA analysis of fossils of the now extinct Siberian unicorn. The international research group, which originated from Australia, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Russia, found that E. Siberian was extinct much later than previously thought, which was considered 200,000 years ago. By genetic analyzes of 23 bone samples of the species, researchers estimate that E. Siberian survived in areas including Eastern Europe and Central Asia until at least 39,000 years ago. That timeline indicates that early modern people and neanderthals gathered together with the species in their last years on earth.

Clock at about 7,700 pounds each, the majestic creatures roamed what is now modern Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and northern China. The unicorn was also considered to be the last surviving member of his rhino subfamily, making the Siberian unicorn and the African White Rhino more distant cousins ​​than people are monkeys, noted the study author Dr. Kieren Mitchell in a statement.

Scientists believe that extinction was due in part to a loss of the Siberian unicorn’s habitat of steppe grass &#821

1; a loss that is caused by climate change. The animals relied on tough and dry grass as a pile of food, and when the soil was heated, many of these grasslands began to shrink, which scientists believed contributed to the extinction of the animal.

“It is unlikely that the presence of humans was the cause of extinction,” said study writer Chris Turney, climate researcher at the University of New South Wales, in a statement. “The Siberian unicorn seems to have been hit hard by the beginning of the Ice Age in Eurasia when a falling fall in temperature led to an increase in the amount of frozen ground, which reduced the tough dry grasses on which it lived and affected populations across a large region. “

Today there are five surviving species of rhinoceros, and while the Siberian unicorn is no longer. To study the extinction of the animal is useful to find ways to save the planet’s remaining rhino. One of the leaders of the study, Professor Adrian Lister from London Natural History Museum, told BBC News, that modern rhinos are particularly at risk of extinction because of their urgency about their habitat.

“Any change in their environment is a danger to them,” Lister told BBC News. ” And what we naturally learned from the fossil record is that once a species is gone, that’s it, it’s gone for good. “

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