What looks like a torn up stuffed animal by your ferocious dog, is really a Woolly Rhino and her name is Sasha.
The remnants of a baby Woolly Rhino that walked the Earth at least 10,000 years ago have been found in a frozen riverbank in Siberia, scientists said. And no my friends, it was not a hybrid animal like the name suggests.
The Woolly Rhino baby was given the name Sasha after the hunter and businessman who discovered it. Notably this is the only complete young specimen of the extinct Woolly Rhino ever discovered according to scientists at the Yakutian Academy of Sciences in Russia, to whom the specimen was donated for further research.
The scientists are hopeful to extract DNA from the specimen to determine its deserving placement on the mammal family tree.
“The newly found is about 1.5 meters long [4.9 feet] and 0.8 meters high [2.6 feet],” said study researcher Albert Protopopov, head of the mammoth fauna studies department of the Yakutian Academy of Sciences in Russia, as translated by Olga Potapova, the collections curator and manager at the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota. Now wasn’t that a mouthful? By contrast, adults of the Woolly Rhino family had the the potential to reach up to 15 feet (4.5 m) long and 6 feet (1.9 m) high at the shoulders, Protopopov said.
Since the 18th century, the remains of only a select few adult woolly rhinos have been found. Two complete bodies without hair were found in Staruni in what is now Ukraine, and a headless, frozen Woolly Rhino was found in eastern Siberia, Potapova said. Woolly rhinos were a subject of art in late Paleolithic cave paintings in Western Europe, which add to researchers’ knowledge of what the Woolly Rhinos looked like, she noted.
But the remnants of Woolly Rhino babies are very rare and fragmented, and very little to nothing is known about the young animals, Protopopov told Live Science, via Potapova. Woolly Rhinos likely had an extreme high infant mortality rate “that is why it is a very lucky find for us,” he said.
The new remnants are from a very young Woolly Rhino, probably between 3 and 4 years old at most said fellow researcher Evgeny Maschenko, of the Paleontological Institute in Moscow, as translated by Potapova.
“The young Woolly Rhino “mummy” was layered by thick hair” and had two horns that were the size of a fist that were tightly attached to its skull, Maschenko said. Based on the size of its fist sized horns, Sasha had probably already been weaned from its mother, but it is not clear whether the baby was a male or female, he added. Out of all things they couldn’t determine. Sigh
Woolly Rhinoceroses (Coelodonta antiquitatis) first made their debut roughly 350,000 years ago during the Pleistocene epoch, which spanned from 2.59 million to 11,700 years ago. The Woolly Rhinos ate mostly low growing herbaceous vegetation, and were spread throughout in the mammoth steppe, a vast dry and cold region stretching all the way from Spain in the west to eastern Siberia in the east, and from subarctic latitudes in the north to the Mediterranean, southern Siberia and even northern China in the south.
via discovery news