Newly Discovered Fossil Shows Unicorns Were Real
Science| | By Lauren Boudreau
I’m not making this up. It turns out that the creature known as the Siberian unicorn, or Elasmotherium sibiricum, did exist about 350,000 years ago, according to the Economic Times. The creature was thought to have gone extinct around that time, but archaeologists just unearthed a skull suggesting it walked around much later than that, specifically, around 29,000 years ago. The six-foot-six animal did have a giant horn protruding from its forehead, however, it seems to have looked much more like a fluffy rhino than an elegant unicorn. The animal was massive, weighing in at 8,000 pounds and being about 15 feet long, but it was also a gentle giant, subsisting on mostly grass. According to Science Alert, researchers think the ‘unicorn’ was most likely an old male, but they still don’t know the cause of death. Andrey Shpanski, a paleontologist at Tomsk State University said in an article published in the American Journal of Applied Science, “Most likely, the south of Western Siberia was a refúgium, where this rhino persevered the longest in comparison with the rest of its range. There is another possibility that it could migrate and dwell for a while in the more southern areas.” The fossil indicates the mammal was on the larger side of the proportions previously written about. Analyzing this skull could provide key info to figure out what led to this creature’s extinction, but, more importantly, how it survived so long.