Rhino ’Cooked to Death’ 9 Million Years Ago, Fossil Reveals
2012 11 27

By Jeanna Bryner | LiveScience.com

About 9.2 million years ago, a teenage two-horned rhinoceros was literally cooked to death when a Mt. Vesuvius-like eruption enveloped it in lava reaching more than 750 degrees Fahrenheit (400 degrees Celsius), scientists say.

The perhaps fortunate result: a well-preserved skull of the Rhinocerotid, with a tale to tell.


An analysis of the volcanic rock-preserved skull suggests the animal’s grisly death was near instantaneous. "[T]he body was baked under a temperature approximating 400°C, then dismembered within the pyroclastic flow, and the skull separated from body," the researchers wrote online Nov. 21 in the journal PLoS ONE. The flow of volcanic ash carried the detached skull about 19 miles (30 kilometers) north of the eruption site and to the site where it was discovered in Cappadocia in Central Turkey.

"The articulated skull and mandible were found alone, and there were no other rhino bones in the surroundings, except for some rib fragments, potentially of rhino affinities," said study researcher Pierre-Olivier Antoine of the University of Montpellier in France.

When alive, the rhino (Ceratotherium neumayri) would have weighed between 3,300 and 4,400 pounds (1,500 and 2,000 kilograms), about the size of a young white rhino, though sporting a shorter head, Antoine said. The animal was 10 to 15 years old, a young adult, when it died in a Pompeii-style eruption.


[...]

Read the full article at: livescience.com






Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Israel’s Military Censors Demand ’Prior Review’ of NYT’s Gaza Reporting
2014 08 01
Following its reporting of the latest events in the Gaza Strip on Friday, including available details about an IDF soldier captured by Hamas soldiers early in the day, the New York Times was contacted by Israel’s military censor and told that future reporting related to the capture would need to be run through its office before publication. The Times updated their ...
Wrong time, altered images: Moscow slams Kiev’s MH17 satellite data
2014 08 01
Satellite images Kiev published as ‘proof’ it didn’t deploy anti-aircraft batteries around the MH17 crash site carry altered time-stamps and are from days after the MH17 tragedy, the Russian Defense Ministry has revealed. The images, which Kiev claims were taken by its satellites at the same time as those taken by Russian satellites, are neither Ukrainian nor authentic, according to Moscow’s ...
World’s First Man-Made Leaves Breathe Oxygen
2014 08 01
A graduate student in innovation design engineering at the UK’s Royal College of Art has created a synthetic leaf that mimics the functions of its real counterpart. "I have the first photosynthetic material that is working and breathing as a leaf does," said Julian Melchiorri. The synthetic leaf uses photosynthesis to produce oxygen, by absorbing light, water and carbon dioxide. The artificial ...
The £11 billion Government plan to put ’Smart meters’ in every British home
2014 08 01
The UK government plans to put smart meters into British homes, and the costs of this program will naturally be passed on to reluctant customers. Critics of the plan suggest that this would make homes and the national grid vulnerable to terrorists, but as it’s been confirmed that government agents are most often involved in terror plots, it’s not the ...
Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation
2014 08 01
The Swedish government announced that it plans to remove all mentions of race from Swedish legislation, saying that race is a social construct which should not be encouraged in law. "We know that different human races actually do not exist," Swedish Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag told Sveriges Television (SVT). "We also know that the fundamental grounds of racism are ...
More News »