Giant rhinos are among the largest mammals ever to walk this great land, and a newly discovered species that lived in northwest China about 25 million years ago reveals just how amazing these creatures are.
Gigantism is a biological feature commonly associated with dinosaurs, but natural selection has also spawned some fairly large mammals.. In fact, the largest animal of all, the blue whale, is a mammal.. In terms of large terrestrial mammals, the steppe mammoth It was so big, just like Giant ground sloth, but the giant rhinoceros was probably the largest.
Several genera of giant rhinos are known, including Paraceratrium. The extinct hornless rhinoceros lived primarily in Asia, with fossils scattered throughout China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan.Stan and Pakistan. However, the evolutionary history of giant rhinos is a bit murky and paleontologists have struggled. for the purpose of Distinguish their exact proportions because of toAn abundance of incomplete fossils. But it is clear that these mammals were very large.
This group can now claim a new member, Linksyensis Paraceratrium, as posted a a study Today in Communication Biology. The research was led by paleontologist Tao Ding, of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The fossilized bones of this species were extracted from the Linxia Basin in northwest Gansu Province, In China. The partial remains of two people were recovered: he is called, skull, jaw and atlas (the first cervical vertebra of the spine) for a sample, and عين Axle and two thoracic vertebrae from another individual. Fossils have been found in late Oligocene sediments dating back to 26.5 million years old.
One of the fossils is a “well-preserved skull with jaws and neck vertebrae, so well preserved that it indicates It was quickly saved and buried,” he explained in an email Lawrence Flynn, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University and co-author of the study. “It provides comprehensive anatomical information to identify a new species distinct from another closely related giant rhinoceros.”
These fossils were analyzed between December 2016 and February 2017. The team laser scanned the samples to build a digital 3D model, allowing them to characterize the animals and compare them to other giant rhinos.
The evidence pointed to an entirely new species. compared to othersآخر ParaceratriumThis animal is characterized by a thin skull, short nasal trunk, long neck, and deeper nasal cavity. This rhinoceros “didn’t have a horn,” Ding explained in an email. “The first small upper incisors and a deep nasal slit indicate a longer, graspable nasal stem, similar to a tapir”, while its large body size, as indicated by its large head He is 1.14 meters tall, He. She distinguishes from other types of Paraceratriumhe added.
Extrapolating the partial remains, Deng estimated their weight at 24 tons, “similar to the total weight of four of the largest modern African elephants,” he said. Linksians P. Half 5 meters At shoulder height and body measurements و 8 meters Long.
Ding said the giant rhino’s long legs were good for running.And his head can reach a height 7 meterswhich allowed him to “access Treetop leaves.” The gripping trunk of the giant rhino’s nose would have been “extremely useful for twisting branches while they pick leaves with their front teeth,” Ding said, adding that the tusk-shaped incisors were likely used for breaking branches, tearing bark and bending higher branches. love others ParaceratriumGiant rhinos lived in open forests.
curiously, P. linxiaense se It looks like a giant rhinoceros that lived in what is now Pakistan. New research indicates that giant rhinos traveled from northwest China through the Tibet region, and led them to the Indo-Pak subcontinent. This is interesting from an evolutionary and geological point of view, as it indicates that the Tibet region “may have hosted some areas of lower elevation”, perhaps less than 2000 meters During the Oligocene, “The giant rhinoceros lineage could have dispersed freely Along the east coast of [antiguo] sCeano Tethys and probably across some lowlands in this areaThe paleontologists wrote in the study.
Although they may look a bit similar, modern rhinos are not descended from Paraceratrium Or other giant rhinoceros. Instead, both groups A common ancestor lived about 50 million years ago.