That Dinosaur Unicorn looked like a giant rhino with a big horn. It could be the origin of the myth of the unicorn that survived until at least 39,000 years ago – much longer than we thought 🦕
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From the discovery to the extinction of the Dinosaur Unicorn
Known as the Siberian Unicorn, the Dinosaur Unicorn had a long horn on its nose and roamed the meadows of Eurasia. New evidence shows that the Dinosaur Unicorn may have eventually died out because it was too difficult to eat. It could no longer find food that was sufficiently tasty and nutritious in abundance.
Scientists say that if we had known more about the extinction of this animal, it would have helped us save the last unicorns on the planet.
The extinction of the Dinosaur Unicorns also occurred because they were too demanding of their habitat, said Professor Adrian Lister of the Natural History Museum in London, who led the study.
“Any change in their environment was a danger to them,” he told BBC News. “And, of course, what we’ve also learned from fossils is that once a species is gone, it’s gone for good.
Weighing four tonnes, with an extraordinary horn on its head, the “Siberian unicorn” shared the earth with the first modern humans until at least 39,000 years ago.
When did the Dinosaur Unicorn live ?
It is believed that the Dinosaur Unicorn, Elasmotherium sibericum, became extinct 200,000 to 100,000 years ago. By radiocarbon dating a total of 23 specimens, researchers discovered that the Ice Age giant had actually survived in Eastern Europe and Central Asia until at least 39,000 years ago 🦏
They also isolated the DNA of the Dinosaur Unicorn for the first time, showing that it split off from the modern group of dinosaurs about 40 million years ago. The extinction of the Siberian Unicorn marks the end of an entire group of unicorns.
Main reason for the extinction of the Dinosaur Unicorn ?
The study also examined the animals’ teeth, confirming that they were grazing on hard, dry grass.
“It walked like some sort of prehistoric lawnmower… it just grazed the ground,” said Professor Lister.
The dinosaur unicorn’s specialised diet may have been his undoing. When the Earth warmed up and began to emerge from the Ice Age about 40,000 years ago, the grasslands began to shrink, probably pushing the animal towards extinction.
Hundreds of species of large mammals became extinct after the last ice age, due to climate change, loss of vegetation and human hunting.
What can we learn from the extinction of the Dinosaur Unicorn ?
By studying Dinosaur Unicorns, scientists can learn more about the fate of the many prehistoric Dinosaur Unicorn species that once roamed the planet and how they have adapted to climate change and human pressures. Legends of the Unicorn, or a single-horned beast, have existed for millennia.
It has been suggested that the horn of the Unicorn Dinosaur may have been the basis for the myths about unicorns, although other animals – such as the tusked narwhal – are more likely to be contenders.
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