The first people to meet the unicorn - though not quite like you thought

Fossilized remains of an ancient mammal Elasmotherium sibiricum (elasmotherium) were found on the bank of the Irtysh River near the village Kozhamzharov in Pavlodar region biologists from the Tomsk State University. Its distinguishing feature was the only long thick horn. According to the structure of his jaws and teeth scientist clear that elasmotherium fed underground parts of plants - bulbs and tubers

. Type species elasmotherium, Elasmotherium sibiricum, was described more Fischer von Waldheim in 1808. It comes from the early-middle Pleistocene of Ukraine, the Volga region, east of the Volga, Urals, Uzbekistan, Siberia, Kazakhstan, and China. It was probably covered with hair as part of the Khazar fauna that existed in the epoch of maximum glaciation.

Previously already it has been suggested that elasmotherium lived up to the Late Pleistocene and the first people he met. In a cave in France, there is a drawing, which depicts a large humpback rhino with a single long horn. But before the age of the fresh remains of this animal have been dated to 350,000 years.

However, the new age of the remains of Pavlodar region with the help of radiocarbon analysis was estimated at 26,000 years. And according to popular belief, the emergence of modern humans took place no later than 130,000 years ago.

Elasmotherium was similar to the modern rhino, however was pretty hairy. His height reaches 2 meters in length was 5 meters and weighed about 4 tons. Found skull belonged to an elderly male. According to scientists, so long could survive elasmotherium or finding a relatively warm place in Western Siberia, either periodically migrates to the southern region.

"Our research is changing the understanding of the environment in the geological epoch, - says one of the researchers TSU Andrew blister. - Understanding the past will allow us to make more accurate predictions of natural processes waiting for us in the future »

. The find of ancient mammal remains prove that the "unicorns" for a long time lived in the south-eastern part of the West Siberian Plain and it could meet the person. Therefore cave paintings of primitive man, depicting animals with one big horn may not be fancy, but Elasmotherium sibiricum and the truth may be the prototype of the fabulous unicorn myth.



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