Humans, 'unicorns' may have walked Earth at same time: study

March 29, 2016
Pair of E. sibiricum. Credit: Stanton F. Fink/Wikipedia/CC BY 2.5

A long-extinct animal known as the Siberian unicorn—which was actually a long-horned rhinoceros—may have walked the Earth 29,000 years ago, at the same time as prehistoric humans, researchers say.

Until now, the Elasmotherium sibiricum was thought to have vanished 350,000 years ago.

But research published in the American Journal of Applied Science describes a far more recent discovery of a well-preserved skull in Kazakhstan.

"Most likely, it was a very large male," said paleontologist Andrey Shpanski of Tomsk State University (TSU).

"The dimensions of this rhino today are the biggest of those described in the literature."

Researchers used radiocarbon dating to determine the creature's age, leading to theories of migration and refuge-seeking in southern corners of Western Siberia for these lumbering legends.

The skull was in relatively good shape, and showed no signs of having been gnawed upon.

Siberian rhinos, which were likely vegetarians, have been described as weighing up to four tons and standing two meters tall by nearly five meters long.

Their habitat extended from the Don River to the east of modern Kazakhstan, said the study.

Shpanski said the findings suggest that other "mass radiocarbon studies" should be done to assess remains of mammals previously believed to have disappeared 50,000-100,000 years ago.

Explore further: When did the 'Siberian unicorn' disappear?

Related Stories

When did the 'Siberian unicorn' disappear?

March 21, 2016

The beautiful title "Siberian unicorn" belongs to Elasmotherium sibiricum—an elasmotherium Siberian rhinoceros, which was thought to have died out 350,000 years ago. Recently, researchers of Tomsk State University (TSU) ...

Our bond with dogs may go back more than 27,000 years

May 21, 2015

Dogs' special relationship to humans may go back 27,000 to 40,000 years, according to genomic analysis of an ancient Taimyr wolf bone reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 21. Earlier genome-based estimates ...

Recommended for you

Fossils reveal unseen 'footprint' maker

January 17, 2017

Fossils found in Morocco from the long-extinct group of sea creatures called trilobites, including rarely seen soft-body parts, may be previously unseen animals that left distinctive fossil 'footprints' around the ancient ...

Study finds links between swearing and honesty

January 16, 2017

It's long been associated with anger and coarseness but profanity can have another, more positive connotation. Psychologists have learned that people who frequently curse are being more honest. Writing in the journal Social ...

16 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

obama_socks
3 / 5 (10) Mar 29, 2016
Nice artwork. But the term "unicorn" for this long-horned rhinoceros initially creates the illusion that the mythical creature had been discovered, when such is not the case. Out of fairness to potential readers, they should have called, "a spade a spade" and dispensed with the cuteness.
BartV
1.6 / 5 (14) Mar 29, 2016
Scientists will find more and more of these in the future. Because all of the ancient creatures did in fact roam the earth together, with humans. Evolution is a total farce.

leetennant
5 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2016
Scientists will find more and more of these in the future. Because all of the ancient creatures did in fact roam the earth together, with humans. Evolution is a total farce.



Poe's Law.

Nice artwork. But the term "unicorn" for this long-horned rhinoceros initially creates the illusion that the mythical creature had been discovered, when such is not the case. Out of fairness to potential readers [/]

I agree with you. But the headline writers on this site often go for shock and simplicity more than accuracy. Which is annoying for a science site. Oddly, I find the idea explored in the headline - that mythological creatures have real-world antecedents and are not just products of human imagination - an interesting anthropological concept. But one that has no relation to this article.
Shakescene21
3.2 / 5 (6) Mar 29, 2016
I also am annoyed that this wooly rhinoceros is referred to as a 'unicorn' on a scientific website. Does Physorg really need to resort to dumb tricks to attract a few more eyeballs?
Guy_Underbridge
1.8 / 5 (10) Mar 30, 2016
Nice artwork. But the term "unicorn" for this long-horned rhinoceros initially creates the illusion that the mythical creature...
Where do you think the (pre-)historic concept of this mysterious beast with one horn came from? Or where those medieval artists got the idea to dress-up a horse with the horn of a narwhal?
I also am annoyed that this wooly rhinoceros is referred to as a 'unicorn' on a scientific website

I guess those quotes around 'unicorn' went unnoticed in your rush to get a comment in...
Phys1
3.3 / 5 (6) Mar 30, 2016
The first two comments feed the notion that religious =stupid.
yep
3 / 5 (4) Mar 30, 2016
Scientists will find more and more of these in the future. Because all of the ancient creatures did in fact roam the earth together, with humans. Evolution is a total farce.


Yup, Jesus in his lost years had joined the rodeo circuit but after hurting himself brontosauras busting he became a carny in the circus. Thats why we all know about him today.
antialias_physorg
3.3 / 5 (7) Mar 30, 2016
I also am annoyed that this wooly rhinoceros is referred to as a 'unicorn' on a scientific website. Does Physorg really need to resort to dumb tricks to attract a few more eyeballs?

Physorg doesn't write articles (or headlines). It is an aggregation site.

You will find that this article (and the headline) are verbatim all over the net. Just plug it in google. The oldest link (and therefore possibly where physorg sourced it) I found was from the Huffington Post. If you have an issue with the "click-baity" nature of the headline take it up with them.
Lex Talonis
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 30, 2016
I have bags of unicorn shit from the top of Mt Olympus, where they roam in vast herds...

$50 a Kg - will grow thousands of prize winning roses with merely a pinch.....

Message me for details and where to wire the cash too, via Western Union.
huckmucus
3.9 / 5 (7) Mar 30, 2016
The way I read the article (utilizing analytical reading and reasoning skills), is that this animal is and has been known as the Siberian Unicorn. This name was not the recent creation of the person who wrote this article, designed simply to get a reader's attention. Much like the Megaloceros giganteus is and has been known as the Irish Elk: It is not simply Irish, nor is it an elk. But that is what it has been called since long before the interwebs was ever done thought up. Even if the term name "unicorn" was first used here, who cares. Sum and substance: Save your consternation for something that warrants it. You are a scientist. I, on the other hand, have nothing better to do that to help you think.
Phys1
3 / 5 (6) Mar 30, 2016
If it had one horn it is a unicorn.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (8) Mar 30, 2016
Another one to add to the park.
http://www.pleist...k.ru/en/
Scientists will find more and more of these in the future. Because all of the ancient creatures did in fact roam the earth together, with humans. Evolution is a total farce
Yeah and if all the species we are aware of were alive at the same time in viable self-sustaining populations as you godlovers believe, Enoch would have been chin deep in writhing animal protoplasm.
Bongstar420
2.7 / 5 (7) Mar 30, 2016
They, like most extinct species, were the sad victims of global warming
Phys1
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2016
@Bongstar420
Try again but now think with the uppermost part of your body.
While standing up.
obama_socks
1 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2016
From the article: "A long-extinct animal known as the Siberian unicorn—which was actually a long-horned rhinoceros—may have walked the Earth 29,000 years ago, at the same time as prehistoric humans, researchers say."

"Until now, the Elasmotherium sibiricum was thought to have vanished 350,000 years ago."
--------------------------------

Another one to add to the park.
http://www.pleist...k.ru/en/
- Otto

That would be quite impossible to add an extinct animal to "the park", unless you request the authorities to lay the bones of an extinct animal within that park, which would make no sense.
If you happen to come across a living Elasmotherium sibiricum, then you might want to tie a tope around its neck and take it to the park yourself.

smirk
obama_socks
1 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2016
Scientists will find more and more of these in the future. Because all of the ancient creatures did in fact roam the earth together, with humans. Evolution is a total farce.

- BartV
Perhaps more of these extinct animals' bones will be found, and not just the long-horned rhino, but other species also.
However, your guesstimation of evolution and its processes are not in keeping with the actual events that are described in Genesis that are hidden in plain sight. There is much information that was not included in the Bible, the main reason being that the ancients had no idea of the events that happened long before written history. Evolution is a natural part of life and its progression. And it doesn't negate the teachings of morality, etc. that are found in the Old and New Testaments.

The bones of Elasmotherium sibiricum and the present-day inheritors/descendants of that species on other continents give witness to Evolution as truth.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.