Attention dreamers! Unicorns, magical animals par excellence, would indeed have existed. And according to researchers, their disappearance dates back only a few thousand years.
Who said unicorns were the fruit of our imagination? Against all odds, this legendary creature would have existed and even cohabited with the first humans. But at the risk of disappointing you, it wasn’t a muscular, horned white horse, but rather a kind of one-horned rhinoceros. Her name ? The Siberian Unicorn (Elasmotherium sibiricum† Less elegant than you might think, isn’t it?
“The elasmothera, or unicorn of Siberia, was the second prehistoric animal identified by a fossil, after the mammoth. †
Pierre-Olivier Antoine, University of Montpellier, The press
A carbon-14 dating performed on 23 fossils made it possible to establish the estimated date of extinction of the prehistoric animal, as underlined France Inter† As a result, contrary to what we thought, the Siberian unicorn did not disappear 350,000 years ago, but ‘only’ 35,000 years ago, at the time of the Neanderthal.
If paleontologists don’t really know the cause of the extinction (possibly hunting and climate change) of this imposing species (3.5 tons and 4 meters long), they’re all formal about one thing: the animal wouldn’t have completely disappeared, as the rhinoceros a distant cousin.
Something to feed our childhood dreams.