|“||It's an Elasmotherium, a prehistoric rhinoceros twice the size of modern rhinos.||„|
|— Allen, describing Elasmotherium|
Elasmotherium (name meaning "Thin Plate Beast"), also nicknamed the Big-Horned Rhinoceros, is a genus of prehistoric Ice Age Woolly Rhinoceros that originated during the Late Pliocene epoch in what is now Siberia until it disappeared during the Late Pleistocene. Measuring more than 5 meters long and weighing up to 5 tons, it is famous for its large, 2 meter-long horn on its head.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Elasmotherium lived during the Late Pliocene epoch, over 2 million years ago. Around 26,000 years ago during the Late Pleistocene, the Elasmotherium became extinct when the climates got warmer and their habitats disappeared.
Elasmotherium received its name from Johann Fischer von Waldheim, the Dirécteur Perpétuel of the Natural History Museum, Moscow University, at a presentation before the Societé Impériale des Naturalistes in 1808.
The largest of all the prehistoric rhinoceroses of the Pleistocene epoch, Elasmotherium was twice the size of a modern white rhinoceros and had a massive, fatty hump on its back. The best-known species, E. sibiricum was the size of an African elephant and is thought to have borne a large, thick horn on its forehead which was used for defense, attracting mates, driving away predators, sweeping snow from the grass in winter, and digging for water and plant roots. Like all rhinos, Elasmotherium were herbivorous. Unlike many others, its high-crowned molars were ever-growing. Despite its bulk and fatty hump, its legs were longer and more slender than those of other rhinoceros and were designed for better galloping and charging, giving it a zebra-like gait. Its entire body was covered in brown hair, save for its face, feet, and horn. The single horn itself was slightly curved, and could grow to be over 6 feet (2 m) long, taller than a man, and is also known to be durable.
Like other rhinoceroses, Elasmotherium had very poor eyesight, but a highly developed sense of smell. This means it could not see other animals unless they were very close by, or directly upwind from the Elasmotherium. The known specimens of E. sibiricum reach up to 16 feet (5 m) long in body length with shoulder heights over 2 m (6 ft 7 in) and a weight of 5 tons (10,000 lbs.) while E. caucasicum reaches at least 16 feet (5 m) in body length with an estimated mass of 6 tons (12,000 lbs.) based on isolated molars that significantly exceed those known from the Siberian species. Both species were among the largest in the family rhino family, comparable in size to a Woolly Mammoth and larger than the contemporary woolly rhinoceros Coelodonta. The feet were unguligrade, the front larger than the rear, with 4 digits at the front and 3 at the rear.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
A solitary animal, Elasmotherium was highly territorial and had no reservations about charging at perceived threats and impaling them with its horn. Despite this, it was not totally fearless and would back down from larger bull Woolly Mammoths. Elasmotherium, like a mammoth, was exclusively a grazer, feeding on the diverse taiga, mammoth steppe, and grasslands of ice age Siberia. However, it evidently fed on different types of grasses to mammoths, probably due to the fact that it grazed at higher altitudes.
For all its size, bulk and presumed aggressiveness, though, Elasmotherium was still a relatively gentle herbivore--and one well-adapted to eating grass rather than leaves or shrubs, as evidenced by its almost comically heavy, oversized, flat teeth and lack of incisors. However, when startled or provoked, they would charge.
|“|| Known for being nicknamed the big-horned rhinoceros, Elasmotherium was one of the largest prehistoric rhinos that ever lived. Weighing up to five tons, this rhino had a horn as long as a man stands tall. However, like all rhinos, Elasmotherium appears to have very poor eyesight.
These animals also appear to be solitary creatures, animals used to being on their own.
|— Allen, in his Journal, about Elasmotherium|
- Elasmotherium is the second largest prehistoric rhino brought to the park.
- Additionally, while it was not indeed the largest prehistoric rhinoceros in general, of all the prehistoric rhinos that had the same overall physical appearance of modern-day rhinos, Elasmotherium was the largest.
- The sound effects of Elasmotherium are that of typical rhinos as well as a mix of bull, cow, walrus, and moose sounds because of its large size.