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Coelodonta antiquitatis - vertebra (3)

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Description

Origin : Holland (North Sea)

Geological era : Late Pleistocene

Age : 40,000 years ago

Size : cm 11.6 x 10.3 x 9.7 - 375 gr


vertebra of woolly rhynoceros, cm 11.6 x 10.3 x 9.7 - 375 gr.

The woolly rhino is a species of extinct rinocerontidae, lived in the Pleistocene in Eurasia, at the time of glaciation.
The common name of this animal comes from the fact that the entire body was covered with a thick layer of hair. The weight was between two and three tons, the height of two meters at the shoulder and the length of the entire animal was almost 4 meters. The size, in essence, was very similar to that of the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum). The head had two horns: the first, largest, could reach one meter tall and had a flattened shape, while the smaller one did not exceed 40 cm. Some cave paintings suggest that the woolly rhinoceros possesses a zone of darker hairs in the middle of the body.
The fossils of this rhino have been discovered in much of Europe and Asia, an area that stretches from South Korea to Spain and Scotland. But it seems that, unlike others, the woolly rhinoceros has never crossed the Beringia to reach Alaska. His skeletons are particularly common in Russia, where he lived together with woolly mammoths. At the end of the Pleistocene, this rhino reached its maximum spread and became the most popular among all the rhinos, living or extinct.
The earliest findings date back about 350,000 years ago (Middle Pleistocene), while the last specimens date back about 10,000 years ago, or at the end of glaciation. Well-preserved remains were discovered frozen in ice and buried in soil saturated with oil. In Ukraine, at Staruni, was found a complete carcass of a female woolly rhinoceros, buried in the mud. The combination of oil and salt preserved the remains from decomposing allowing the soft tissues to remain intact.
The woolly rhinoceros grazing grasses and bushes on the Eurasian tundra, also he like mosses and lichens, burning with the wide upper lip. The horns of many specimens show signs of wear, probably caused by movement of the head to move the snow from the plants they eat. Probably the woolly rhinoceros lived in the same way as his parents present, in small family groups or individually.
The woolly rhinos were hunted by early humans, as evidenced by cave paintings in caves in France dating back about 30,000 years ago. The rhino became extinct at the end of the Ice Age: surely one of the main factors that led to his death was the sudden climate change, but can not be excluded even hunting by man. The closest relative of this animal is the current Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis).



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