This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/animal/woolly-rhinoceros, International Rhino Foundation - Extinct Woolly Rhino, woolly rhinoceros - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11). For instance, a website may be able to provide you with local weather reports or traffic news by storing in a cookie the region in which you are currently located. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites. The woolly rhinoceros was a cold-adapted megaherbivore widely distributed across northern Eurasia during the Late Pleistocene epoch. Woolly rhinoceroses remained in northern Eurasia until at least 18,500 years ago, and scientific evidence suggests that they were not hunted to extinction by human beings. Updates? The Woolly Rhino lived just as their recent relatives do, alone or in very small family groups. ", Mammoths and Mastodons - Ancient Extinct Elephants, Prehistoric Life During the Pleistocene Epoch, Giant Mammal and Megafauna Pictures and Profiles, The Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals of Washington. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. The Woolly Rhinos frequently inhabited the same areas as Woolly Mammoths, however they apparently never managed to move across the Bering Strait (Bering Land Bridge) and extend their range into North America. Coelodonta antiquitatis were hunted by early humans and they were depicted on the walls of caves in France 30,000 years ago. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. This is appropriate since it was almost certainly hunting by the early Homo sapiens of Eurasia (combined with inexorable climate change and the disappearance of its accustomed food sources) that helped drive Coelodonta into extinction shortly after the last Ice Age. Aside from its Woolly Mammoth-like fur coat, the Woolly Rhino was very similar in appearance to modern rhinoceroses, its immediate descendants; that is if you overlook this herbivore's odd cranial ornamentation, one big, upward-curving horn on the tip of its snout and a smaller one set further up, nearer its eyes. These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. The combination of oil and salt prevented the remains from decomposing, allowing the soft tissues to remain intact. The horns of Coelodonta antiquitatis fossils show abrasion marks that were presumably caused by to and fro motion of the head as it pushed the snow away while searching for grass. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. If Russian scientists can recover fragments of DNA from this body, and then combine them with the genome of the still-extant Sumatran Rhino (the closest living descendant of Coelodonta), it may one day be possible to de-extinct this breed and repopulate the Siberian steppes! The animal was massive, with two large horns toward the front of the skull, and was covered with a thick coat of hair. Rather, they likely died out from sudden climate changes brought on during the Bølling-Allerød interstadial, an interval that saw the rapid retreat of the Pleistocene ice sheets beginning about 14,700 years ago. Cave paintings suggest they may have had a band of darker fur around their midsections. Omissions? Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The woolly rhinoceros was also present in more temperate, nonglacial regions, where it inhabited grasslands. Woolly rhinoceros, (genus Coelodonta), either of two extinct species of rhinoceros found in fossil deposits of the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs (5.3 million to 11,700 years ago) in Europe, North Africa, and Asia. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. The Woolly Rhinos frequently inhabited the same areas as Woolly Mammoths, however they apparently never managed to move across the Bering Strait (Bering Land Bridge) and extend their range into North America. Common Names. Their fossils are fairly common and have been discovered throughout Europe and Asia. In March 2015, headlines were made when a hunter in Siberia stumbled across the well-preserved, five-foot-long, hair-covered corpse of a Woolly Rhino juvenile, later dubbed Sasha. In the latter part of the Pleistocene Period, the Woolly Rhino may have had the largest range of any known rhinoceros, living or extinct. To learn about the size and stability of the woolly rhinoceros population in Siberia, the researchers studied the DNA from tissue, bone, and hair samples of 14 individuals. It was a popular subject for Stone Age painters and sculptors; their representations of the woolly rhinoceros, some of which are very accurate, are known from several localities. Corrections? These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. The front, larger horn measured up to 3 ft (1m) and had a flattened shape. Woolly rhinoceros, either of two extinct species of rhinoceros found in fossil deposits of the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs (5.3 million to 11,700 years ago) in Europe, North Africa, and Asia. 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We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Once common throughout Northern Europe and Eastern Asia (especially in what is now Russia). These cookies are used to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. In Ukraine, a complete carcass of a female Woolly Rhino was discovered buried in the mud. like other northern megafauna, the effective population size of woolly rhinoceros likely increased at 29.7 ka BP and subsequently remained stable until close to the species’ extinction. To learn about the size and stability of the woolly rhinoceros population in Siberia, the researchers studied the DNA from tissue, bone, and hair samples of 14 individuals. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. "We sequenced a complete nuclear genome to look back in time and estimate population sizes, and we also sequenced fourteen mitochondrial genomes to estimate the female effective population sizes," says co-first …