2 Sep 11 – A newly-discovered species of woolly rhino that lived in Tibet more than 3.6 million years ago descended to the plains from the Himalayas when the ice age struck.
Scientists suspect that the same could also be true for ancestors of other giant ice-age mammals such as the woolly mammoth, giant sloth and sabre-toothed cat.
The research suggests that the Tibetan plateau may have been an ‘evolutionary cradle’ for the ice-age megafauna, and that they then expanded throughout northern Asia and Europe.
One special feature of the newly discovered animal was a flattened horn, which researchers speculate was used as a snow shovel to uncover edible vegetation.
Did this particular species of woolly rhino develop its flattened horn in order to shovel snow? I doubt it. I’m more inclined to think that that flattened horn was simply an “oops” with which the enormous animal learned to cope.
My guess is that this newly discovered species of woolly rhino “evolved” at a magnetic reversal, and later went extinct at a magnetic reversal.
The team also found fossils of other extinct species, including the three-toed horse, the Tibetan antelope, snow leopard, badger, and 23 other kinds of mammals.
Thanks to Emma Corry for this link