A team of researchers discovered a new species of rhinoceros from fossils going back 26.5 million years somewhere in the Chinese Gansu Province.
The findings were recently published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Communications Biology.
Tao Deng, a professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and his team uncovered the skeletal remains of an enormous rhino known as the Paraceratherium linxiaense.
Scientists believe that the giant rhino is one of the biggest mammals to walk on Earth.
The legs and skulls of the specimen are longer than those of all known land mammals.
The researchers found a wholly preserved skull of the species, which is believed to have a deeper nasal cavity than the rhino species that live on Earth today.
It has a slender skull, smaller nose trunk and longer neck.
Lawrence Flynn, a co-author of the study, said:
“What’s extraordinary about this particular thing is that it’s a wonderfully preserved fossil, so it tells us a lot about the anatomy of the individual group.”
Estimates suggest that the Paraceratherium linxiaense had a bodyweight of 24 tons, comparable to the weight of four adult African elephants or eight white rhinos, Deng said.
It had a shoulder height of more than sixteen feet and a body length of approximately 26 feet.
The researchers determined that the rhino could have reached a height of 23 feet to search for leaves of treetops.
The colossal rhino inhabited Asia in regions like China, Pakistan, Mongolia and Kazakhstan, and the genus Paraceratherium was the most widely spread version of the giant rhino, the researchers speculated.
Flynn added that the most impressive detail of the discovery was that it showed that vegetation productivity was considerable in China, Pakistan, and other areas of Asia, where the rhinos and other mammalian creatures thrived.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.