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'Unicorns' Existed Alongside Early Modern Humans?

'Unicorns' Existed Alongside Early Modern Humans?
Aletheiane/Flickr

Remember when you told your entire elementary school class that unicorns were real because they were in Harry Potter, and no one believed you? Yeah, us too. Well, the joke's on the skeptics of the world, because researchers at Russia's Tomsk State University confirmed the existence of unicorns once and for all. Unfortunately, the Siberian unicorns are not rainbow-jumping, wish-granting ponies. 

An extinct creature sometimes described as a “Siberian unicorn” roamed the Earth for much longer than scientists previously thought, and may have lived alongside humans, according to a study in the American Journal of Applied Science.

Scientists believed Elasmotherium sibiricum went extinct 350,000 years ago. But the discovery of a skull in the Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan provides evidence that they only died out about 29,000 years ago.

Unfortunately, despite its sizable horn, the “Siberian unicorn” looked more like a rhinoceros than the mythical creature its nickname refers to. It was about 6 feet tall, 15 feet long, and weighed about 9,000 pounds, making it more comparable to a woolly mammoth than a horse. 

The researchers are now studying how this creature was able to survive so much longer than many of its kind.

“Most likely, the south of Western Siberia was a refúgium [refuge], where this rhino persevered the longest in comparison with the rest of its range,” Andrei Shpanski, a paleontologist at Tomsk State University, told Phys.org. “There is another possibility that it could migrate and dwell for a while in the more southern areas.”

Last modified onWednesday, 30 March 2016 13:19