The fossil is 26.5 million years old, considered to be of the new rhinoceros Paraceratherium linxiaense, one of the largest terrestrial animals, estimated to weigh up to 24 tons and 7m high.
Fossils of a giant rhinoceros were found in 2015 in Gansu, northwest China. The discovery included a perfectly preserved skull, jawbone, teeth and vertebrae. Based on the results of research and analysis of fossil samples, experts concluded that the skeleton found was that of Paraceratherium linxiaense, a giant descendant of the rhinoceros species that lived on Earth 26.5 million years ago. .
Their findings were recently published in the journal Communications Biology.
The researchers say the bone fragments they found lead them to believe that the species was larger than any modern terrestrial mammal, estimated at 24 tons, 8 meters long and can reach up to 7 meters tall. .
Distinctive features of this species are thin skull, short nose, long and strong neck, deep nasal cavity. According to experts, the appearance of this rhinoceros resembles a giant hairy tapir. The animal feeds on molluscs, shrubs and leaves.
Some bones of giant rhino fossil specimens. Source: nature.com
Scientists also discovered that this species is related to the giant rhinoceros that once lived in Pakistan. This suggests that the mammal lived in Tibet and the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, where other giant rhino samples were found.
Experts believe that this discovery will help determine the formation process of the Tibetan Plateau – the largest plateau in terms of area and the highest plateau in the world.
The giant rhinoceros is one of the iconic animals of ice Age. Animals of this species have become extinct due to climate change and disease. The origin of these rhinos is still unknown.