An extinct animal known as the Siberian unicorn, thought to have vanished more than 350,000 years ago, might have died out much later – possibly co-existing with humans.
Scientists originally thought the long-horned rhinoceros, Elasmotherium sibiricum, had become extinct more than 350,000 years ago.
But research published in the American Journal of Applied Science describes a far more recent discovery of a well-preserved skull in Kazakhstan in Central Asia.
Researchers from the Tomsk State University suggested Elasmotherium sibiricum might have walked the Earth as recently as 29,000 years ago, at the same time as prehistoric humans.
The skull was found near the village of Kozhamzhar in the Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan, and was in good condition, with no signs of having been gnawed upon.
“Most likely, it was a very large male,” Tomsk State University paleontologist Andrey Shpanski said.
Siberian rhinos, which were probably vegetarians, have been described as being 2m tall and nearly 5m long, and weighing up to four tons.