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TravelGuides – New fossils reveal one of the largest land mammals ever found — and it’s a giant rhino

TravelGuides – New fossils reveal one of the largest land mammals ever found — and it’s a giant rhino

About 25 million years in the past, giant rhinos greater than 16 ft tall roamed the Earth. They are thought-about the largest land mammal that ever lived — however their evolutionary historical past and dispersal throughout Asia have left scientists puzzled. 

Paleontologists have now found fossils for a new, sixth species of the extinct giant rhino, Paraceratherium linxiaense, that are shedding gentle on how the animal moved throughout China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Pakistan. The team of researchers, led by Deng Tao from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, revealed its 2015 findings in a new study this week in the journal Communications Biology. 

Researchers uncovered one fossil of a utterly preserved cranium, jawbone and tooth with their related atlas, the half of the physique the place the head connects to the backbone. Another fossil consists of three vertebrae. 

Ecological reconstruction of giant rhinos and their accompanying fauna in the Linxia Basin throughout the Oligocene. 


The stays offered sufficient element for the group to construct a digital 3D mannequin and evaluate them to different giant rhinos — main them to categorise the new species, distinct with its longer, extra versatile neck. 

The uncommon fossils, found in Gansu Province, China, positioned at the northeastern border of the Tibetan Plateau, date again to the Late Oligocene, an epoch that lasted from about 34 million years in the past to about 23 million years in the past. 

These giant rhinos have been considerably bigger than the rhinos of modern-day, with estimated shoulder heights of about 16 ft, and a weight of over 40,000 kilos. They additionally lacked horns. 

Distribution and migration of Paraceratherium in the Oligocene Eurasia. Localities of the early Oligocene species have been marked by the yellow coloration, and the pink signifies the late Oligocene species.


The discovery sheds gentle on how the area has reworked since these large creatures went extinct.

“The Tibetan region likely hosted some areas with low elevation, possibly under 2,000 meters during Oligocene, and the lineage of giant rhinos could have dispersed freely along the eastern coast of the Tethys Ocean and perhaps through some lowlands of this region,” researchers wrote in the research. 

Researchers decided that, in the Early Oligocene, the animal dispersed westward to Kazakhstan, with a descendant expanded to South Asia, then returning north to cross the Tibetan space to ultimately produce P. linxiaense to the east in the Linxia Basin.

“Late Oligocene tropical conditions allowed the giant rhino to return northward to Central Asia, implying that the Tibetan region was still not uplifted as a high-elevation plateau,” Deng stated. 

TravelGuides – New fossils reveal one of the largest land mammals ever found — and it’s a giant rhino

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