New species of ancient giant rhino, one of the largest land-dwelling mammals, has been discovered in northwestern China, the researchers said.
Scientists said analysis of fossils found near the Chinese village of Wangjiachuan in Gansu province in 2015 pointed to a completely new species – Paraceratherium linxiaense. In the course of the study, it turned out that he was different from other known giant rhinos.
Paraceratherium linxiaense, which lived about 26.5 million years ago. It also weighed 21 tons, which is the equivalent of four large African elephants. The head of the creature was attached to a 7-meter body and touched the treetops. Scientists note that the ancient rhino was much taller than a giraffe.
The fully preserved skull and jawbone indicate that the animal had a thin skull as well as a tenacious nasal trunk. The team also found that the new species is closely related to the giant rhinoceros that once lived in Pakistan. Researchers have suggested that Paraceratherium linxiaense traveled to Central Asia.
The research results are published in the journal Communications Biology.