Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Yes, Virginia, Unicorns once existed

Heinrich Harder/Wikimedia

Scientists assumed they died out 300 thousand years ago but a skull suggests at least one was around in Kazakhstan 29,000 years ago.

According to early descriptions, the Siberian unicorn stood at roughly 2 metres tall, was 4.5 metres long, and weighed about 4 tonnes. That’s closer to woolly mammoth-sized than horse-sized. Despite its very impressive stature, the unicorn probably was a grazer that ate mostly grass. So, if you want a correct image in your head, think of a fuzzy rhinoceros with one long, slender horn protruding from its face instead of a short, stubby one like today’s rhinos. The newly found skull, which was remarkably well-preserved, was found in the Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan. Researchers from Tomsk State University were able to date it to around 29,000 years ago via radiocarbon dating techniques. Based on the size and condition of the skull, it was likely a very old male, they suggest, but how it actually died remains unknown

Modern man was around then, making one wonder if there was a folk memory of the creature (or maybe an actual creature) that inspired this seal, found in Mahenjo Daro.

headsup GGGForum on FreeRepublic.

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