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TravelGuides – Fossils unearthed in China reveal a new species of giant prehistoric rhino

TravelGuides – Fossils unearthed in China reveal a new species of giant prehistoric rhino

giant prehistoric rhinoceros stands as tall as trees against a cloudy sky

A batch of newly found fossils come from prehistoric giant rhinos – the biggest identified land mammal in the historical past of the Earth.

Paleontologists found a full cranium from one rhino and three vertebrae from one other, in the Linxia basin in the Gansu Province of northwestern China. The set of bones is 26.5 million years previous.

Genetic evaluation revealed that the fossils belonged to a species of giant rhino that scientists had by no means seen earlier than. The staff of researchers from China and the US dubbed the new animal “Paraceratherium linxiaense.”

“Usually fossils come in pieces, but this one is complete, with a very complete skull and a very complete jaw, which is rare,” Deng Tao, who led the staff that found the fossils, advised CNN. Deng is a professor on the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology on the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Taller than a giraffe and roughly the dimensions of six elephants, the rhino towered 23 toes above the bottom, and its physique was 26 toes lengthy, Deng advised CNN. It weighed roughly 24 tons. The cranium was greater than three toes lengthy.

“It was very rare for a skull of that size to be preserved,” Deng stated.

Deng and his colleagues shared their findings in a study revealed in the journal Communications Biology on Thursday.

A clue to the giant rhinos’ mysterious migrations

Scientists already knew about giant rhinos, or Paraceratherium, which have been discovered throughout Asia – primarily in Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China.

But the new species, Paraceratherium linxiaense, reveals that these prehistoric pachyderms made enormous migrations throughout the continent.

In the early Oligocene period, 31 million years in the past, giant rhinos moved out of the northern Tibetan plateau.

“Animal migration is linked to climate change. So 31 million years ago, when the Mongolian plateau dried up, they moved south,” Deng advised CNN.

The new species, which is descended from these early migrants, signifies that giant rhinos made the trek again north in the course of the late Oligocene. To get to Linxia, they’d have needed to cross the Tibetan plateau. According to Deng and his colleagues, this implies the plateau will need to have been a lot decrease than it’s right now.

“The weather got wet and they went back to the north,” Deng stated. “Therefore, this discovery is of great significance to the study of the whole plateau-uplift process, climate, and environment.”

Read the unique article on Business Insider

TravelGuides – Fossils unearthed in China reveal a new species of giant prehistoric rhino

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