Thursday, 31 August 2017

Woolly rhino neck ribs provide clues about their decline and eventual extinction

Fossils point to rare condition in the extinct species, possibly caused by inbreeding and harsh conditions during pregnancy. Monitoring vertebrae in modern rhinos could indicate the level of extinction risk

Date: August 29, 2017
Source: PeerJ

Summary:
A study reports on the incidence of abnormal cervical (neck) vertebrae in woolly rhinos, which strongly suggests a vulnerable condition in the species. 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.


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