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SOS Rhino : In the News : Museum's new rhinoceros skull is 15,000 years old

Museum's new rhinoceros skull is 15,000 years old
Published Date: 07 February 2007
Location: Hemel Hempstead

By Victoria West

The skull of a woolly rhinoceros, which could have roamed the Tring area around 15,000 years ago, is part of the latest exhibition at Tring's Zoological Museum.

Remains of the massive beast were found in Cambridgeshire, but it is likely the animal and its relatives came to this area during their lives.

From the Pleistocene Age, the woolly rhino weighed up to three tons and was around six ft high and 12 ft long.

The skull is the centrepiece of a collection of fossils going on display next week at the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum.

The exhibition called Fossil Folklore, includes real fossil specimens, photographs and fun activities where youngsters can dig for fossils.

Curator of the exhibition Alice Dowswell said: "Scientists have been studying fossils for more than 200 years, but there's still a lot of information missing.

"The study of fossils is very exciting, future discoveries might tell us about previously unknown creatures that used to exist and change our view of the way the earth evolved."

It is thought that in the past discoveries of woolly rhino skulls inspired tales about dragons.

Dragons were often said to live in caves , which is where woolly rhino remains were also found. No one recognised the skulls belonged to ancient rhinos until 1700 when modern rhino remains were first found in Europe.

The Fossil Folklore exhibition runs from Monday, February 12 to Sunday, July 8. Entry to the museum on Akeman Street is free and it is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 2pm to 5pm.

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