Woolly Rhino Neck Ribs Provide Clues About Their Decline and Eventual Extinction
29 / 08 / 2017, Newswise
Researchers from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden examined woolly rhino and modern rhino neck vertebrae from several European and American museum collections and noticed that the remains of woolly rhinos from the North Sea often possess a 'cervical' (neck) rib--in contrast to modern rhinos. The study, published in the open access journal PeerJ today, reports on the incidence of abnormal cervical vertebrae in woolly rhinos. Given the considerable birth defects that are associated with this condition, the researchers argue it is very possible that developmental abnormalities contributed towards the eventual extinction of these late Pleistocene rhinos.