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Rhino skeleton 160,000 years old found in Castelldefels cave
A SKELETON of an extinct breed of rhinocerous has been found in the province of Barcelona and is believed to date back over 160,000 years.
Similar to the African black rhino, the Stephanorhinus Hundsheimensis discovered in Castelldefels by the Quartenary Research Group (GRQ-SERP), part of Barcelona University, typically lived in open spaces and was a very fast runner.
The rhino found was young – about seven years old – and still has some of its milk teeth.
It was unearthed in what is known as the Rhinoceros Cave, where other rhino bones were found in 2015 during an ongoing archaeological excavation, and is believed to have fallen into the grotto and died whilst trapped there, since this would not have been its natural habitat.
Two front legs, the ribs, part of the spinal column and the skull with both jaws have been dug up intact.
Castelldefels' Rhinoceros Cave is a huge dig which covers a very long period of prehistoric eras, with findings dating from 80,000 to 200,000 years old, most of which are very diverse, well-preserved and abundant.
Remains of several types of animals from several geographical eras spotted in the cave have given historians plenty of valuable information about life in the wild tens or even hundreds of thousands of years ago.
A young elephant skeleton was found there in 2012 and two young rhinos in 2015.
It appears that the cave, in the Garraf area, became a natural trap for many species of fauna, especially very young and inexperienced animals who fell into it.
The latest findings will remain in the cave all summer and then be removed for studying by the GRQ-SERP team.
Picture: An artist's impression of a Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis from Huéscar-1.blogspot.com
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