Woolly Rhinoceros Tooth - 4.12"
Woolly Rhinoceros Tooth - 4.12"
This specimen is a 4.12" Woolly Rhinoceros Tooth recovered from Siberia. The estimated age is 20,000 years old.
As pictured above, the tooth is mounted on a simple wooden stand but can be removed easily enough. The mounting point is a drill hole so if you'd like to make your own stand that should be very easy to do.
Please Note: Each tooth has been prepared by hand, and in some cases, there may be jaw bone fragments still attached to roots. This should be readily apparent in the pictures, but we thought it would be important to mention this detail. If the jaw fragments are present, do not try to remove them. They've been left in place to provide stability to the specimen. Along this line, it is also important to note that while the enamel of the tooth is shiny and tough, the roots can be fragile. For this reason, nearly all of the roots have been sealed with penetrative stabilizers.
ESTIMATED AGE: 20,000 years old
More About the Woolly Rhinoceros
"Accounts strongly suggest that fossil rhino horns were indeed known to, and used by, the native inhabitants of northeastern Siberia." ~ Professor Mikael Fortelius
The Woolly Rhinos of the Pleistocene were a sight to behold, with massive bodies covered in thick hair, humped shoulders to carry their heavy heads, and titanic horns which made them tower over the expansive steppe landscapes
Coelodonta antiquitatis, the scientific name of the woolly rhino, emerged in Europe and Asia during the Pleistocene, where their long hair and heavy fat made them capable of surviving the permafrost climate. These animals were huge, comparable in size to the modern white rhino. They could reach up to 12 feet in length and six thousand pounds, making them a tank of a creature. Most impressive was their front horn, a massive keratin formation over 4 feet long.
📸 FIGHTING WOOLLY RHINOCEROS FROM THE CHAUVET-PONT-D'ARC CAVE (C. 31,000 YEARS AGO)
Direct evidence of human contact with the woolly rhino is rare to come by. There are, however, some examples of bone weapons and scavenging events. The rhinos also appear in many pieces of early cave art, particularly in the 30,000-year-old Chauvet cave paintings of France.
The woolly rhino’s extinction came at the end of the last ice age, 11,700 years ago. A number of theories have been put forward as to the exact cause of extinction, with the change in climate and human overhunting both as prominent sources of population loss. Whatever the case, mummified remains of the species can still be found today in permafrost, opening an amazing window into our distant past.
UPPER PALEOLITHIC LIFE
Discovered on December 18, 1994, the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave is considered one of the most significant paleoart sites in the world. Radiocarbon studies suggest the drawings and fossilized remains discovered in the cave are roughly 31,000 years old.
📸 Close-up of a Woolly Rhino Tooth
Before the species was officially identified in the 1700s, people had found the horns and skulls of the woolly rhino for years. Without the context of the ice age and change in climate, they were thought to be the remains of long-forgotten mythical creatures. Some native groups in Siberia believed the horns to be claws of massive birds, while skulls found in Europe were thought to be the remains of dragons.
The first scientific analysis of the woolly rhino classified it as a close relative of modern rhinoceroses. While they are related, analysis of the woolly rhino’s tooth would reveal a distinction. The ancient species had natural internal cavities, unlike the modern rhinos. These distinctive cavities are still visible today in the specimen.
These teeth allowed the rhino to grind up plant matter. Although the horn may have been used for defensive or mating purposes, it’s also thought to have been used to push aside snow and dirt in search of roots and frozen grasses.
Front of Specimen Card
Back of Specimen Card
Rhinoceros Giants: The Paleobiology of Indricotheres, by Donald R. Prothero, Indiana University Press, 2013.
Fortelius, Mikael. “The Morphology and Paleobiological Significance of the Horns of Coelodonta Antiquitatis (Mammalia: Rhinocerotidae).” Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, vol. 3, no. 2, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Taylor & Francis, Ltd., 1983, pp. 125–35.
Chernova, O. F., and I. V. Kirillova. "New data on horn morphology of the woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis Blumenbach, 1799)." Proceedings of the zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of sciences 314.3 (2010): 333-342.