STL Science Center

STL Science Center

04 November 2014

Elasmotherium on Paper

A multitude of Elasmotherium studies have been conducted since the naming and describing of the initial materials. Limb bones have been described and there have been ecological studies conducted. Geographic populations have been described for areas like China and Kazakhstan. The phylogenetics of the genus have even been studied, probably multiple times to be honest. The original description of the Moscow Mandible and Fischer's inferences about the ancient rhinoceros are lost to the internet, as far as I can tell. That is, of course, rather unfortunate given how important naming and describing articles are to the history of any fossil species and the study of them. Fortunately, however, Zoya Bessudnova recently tackled the history of Fischer in 2013, describing his scientific endeavors in Russia and upholding his fame as the "Russian Cuvier", a term for Fischer I was not familiar with. The most interesting fact about that statement is that Johann (Grigory) Gotthelf Fischer Von Waldheim was German born (1771 in Saxony) and moved to Russia in 1804. Either way, his description of Elasmotherium sibiricum  is not in our hands today, but many other quality papers about the animal are available for reading!

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