A long-horned rhinoceros known as the Siberian unicorn did not go extinct 350,000 years ago as previously thought but probably survived until about 29,000 years ago, when prehistoric humans lived.
That is the conclusion of new research published in the American Journal of Applied Sciences based on radiocarbon dating of a well-preserved skull of one of the mammals found in Kazakhstan.
Elasmotherium sibiricum or Siberian rhinos were likely vegetarians that grazed on grass. They are believed to have weighed up to 4 tons and stood 2 meters tall, looking much like a modern rhino but with shaggy hair and an extraordinarily long horn.
Their habitat extended from the Don River in Russia to the east of modern Kazakhstan, the study said.
Because of the surprising longevity of the species, scientists said the findings suggest that other studies should reassess the remains of mammals previously believed to have disappeared 50,000 to 100,000 years ago.