STL Science Center

STL Science Center

26 October 2011

Finding the Woolly Rhinoceros

The Woolly Rhinoceros, like many other Pleistocene mammals, was not so much "discovered" as unearthed after years of searching. Cave paintings from around Eurasia had detailed Woolly Rhinos as much as they had any other mammal and scientists, even those skeptical due to its hairy appearance in cave paintings when only the smooth skinned cousins were living around the globe, knew of the evidence that suggested that there were animals of this nature somewhere in the world's history whether they were holding proof or not. However, considering the mentality of scientists, that need for hard proof of something to truly believe, it wouldn't be long before someone went searching amongst the rumors of remains and preserved corpses found throughout the northern half of Eurasia.

She has no name

The first evidence aside from the cave drawings was found in a Polish tar pit. The pit, located in Starunia, Poland, yielded a specimen of Woolly Rhino that was almost flawless. The fact that it was only missing its hair and hooves made the find a fantastic advancement in the study of Woolly Rhinos and, the fact that the first specimen ever found by modern scientists was a whole specimen and not just bones, made an extremely profound impact on the science of paleontology as well. The specimen was an adult female rhino which is now on display in Poland's Academy of Sciences. Since that rhino was found many more skeletons and preserved specimens have been found throughout Eurasia including the Tibetan specimen mentioned earlier in the week.

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