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SOS Rhino : In the News : Archaeologists unearth ancient pregnant rhino

Archaeologists unearth ancient pregnant rhino

  October 10 2005 at 04:57AM

Beijing - Archaeologists in eastern China have excavated a fossilised pregnant hornless rhinoceros thought to have lived 18 million years ago, state media reported Monday.

The fossil was dug up during a recent excavation at the Shanwang Ruins of Ancient Extinct Life near Linqu County in the central province of Shandong, the China Daily said.

The rhino, 2.7m long and 1.7m high, was well-preserved. The foetus, inside its mother's uterus, had an almost fully developed skeleton and teeth.

"It is rare to discover a pregnant fossilised rhinoceros anywhere," Li Fenglin, a professor with China Geological University, who took part in the excavation, was quoted as saying.

Hornless rhinoceroses were the ancestors of the modern animal.

According to the report, the dead rhino might have been the victim of a volcanic eruption.

Li said many other fossils had been found in the area, including those of ancient deer, spiders and scorpions.

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