This giant rhinoceros was one of the largest mammals ever to have lived on Earth.

Giant rhinos that lived 50 to 25 million years ago could have weighed four times as much as a large African elephant. A group of Chinese scientists have just identified a new species paraceratherium which could make up the missing link and explain how this unusual mammal was able to settle between Asia and Europe.

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Giant Rhino (paraceratherium) is considered the largest mammal earthly never lived on Earth, weighing from 20 to 24 tons and measuring more than 7 meters in height. Many fossils and remains of giant rhinoceroses datedOligocene Found mainly in China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan, these giant mammals are well-adapted to woodlands and sometimes wet or dry conditions.

New species of rhinoceros discovered in China

But it remained a mystery: how the giant rhinos of Kazakhstan and Pakistan, who lived simultaneously with the end of the lower Oligocene, could settle between the two regions, given that Asia was then separated from Europe by sea ? A team of researchers led by Tao Dan of the Chinese Academy of Sciences may have just solved this mystery by announcing the discovery of a new species. paraceratheriumwho could make famous missing link. Scientists have discovered scull with lower jaw full and also two thoracic vertebrae belonging to another person, dated 26.5 million years. The fossils were discovered in Gansu Province, China, in a basin on the northeastern border of the Tibetan Plateau, and were identified as belonging to a separate species named Paraceratherium linxiaense.

Crossing the Tibetan Plateau

By analyzing it phylogenetic and by comparing it with other species, Tao Dan and colleagues found that this giant rhinoceros belonged to a branch that split from the others relatively late (about 32 million years ago). “ In the early Oligocene, Paraceratherium asiaticum spread west into Kazakhstan, and its descendants spread to South Asia as P. bugtiense. In the late Oligocene, Paraceratherium returned north through the Tibetan region to produce P. lepidium in the west in Kazakhstan and P. linxiaense in the east in the Linxia Basin. “, – is described in detail in an article by scientists published in Communication biology. ” At that time, the Tibetan region was not as high as it is today, with altitudes of less than 2,000 m and humid tropical conditions with open forests.Tao Dan testifies. So the rhinoceros was able to freely scatter along the coast of the ocean of Thetis, crossing the mountains “.

Rhino… no horn

A new species of giant rhinoceros is not the largest of paraceratherium, the biggest creature Dzhungariotherium orgosens. But Paraceratherium linxiaense was about 20% larger than Paraceratherium bugtiense, the most common species, especially in Pakistan. “, — specifies Tao Deng on the website. NBC. With 21 tons and 7 meters in height, he weighed as much as 4 large African elephants and ate leaves trees located high. Contrary to their nickname, the rhinoceros, these giant mammals did not have horn on the muzzlebut more like a huge horse.

Giant Balochite fossil in Pakistan

La Redaction article published on April 06, 2011

This time, a fossil mammal stole the show from the dinosaurs! At the beginning of May 1999, news spread around the world about the sensational rediscovery of the largest land mammal of all time – paracerateria (or beluchiteria). The information came from Dera Bugti, a small town in Balochistan (western Pakistan).

  • Discover our entire file Baluchithère: a giant fossil in Pakistan

Representation of Baluchithère. © 2001 Ex-Machine

The results are in line with our expectations

The composite skeleton thus restored is finally photographed from the roof of the guest house. © 1999 MPFB (MB, LM, JLW)

This hornless rhinoceros largest land mammal ever discovered, first reported by Pilgrim in 1908 and named Aceratherium Bagtien (“Bugti’s hornless rhinoceros”) before Forster-Cooper created the genus for the same species in 1911 paraceratherium (” almost aceratherium “), then the floor Beluchiteriumtwo years later.

Chasing the Lost Baluchiter (Mission 1999)

Painful climb on Zin with tens of kilos
in backpacks. © 2004 IPSF (POA)

We should have continued research in the very sensitive area of ​​Lundo-Chur (probably the Cour-Lando of the old authors), like Forster-Cooper a century ago, to find the remains of Baluchiter in a controlled stratigraphic situation.

The giant lives again … on the screen!

The skeleton is again reconstructed, under the right profile.
© 2000 IPPF

Due to its size and status as a record-breaking mammal Baluchites became the star of a documentary filmed between 2000 and 2001.

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