Woolly rhinos, why extinct?


This 2013 video is called The End of the Woolly Rhino – Ice Age Giants – Episode 3 Preview – BBC.

From ScienceDaily:

Woolly rhino neck ribs provide clues about their decline and eventual extinction

Fossils point to rare condition in the extinct species, possibly caused by inbreeding and harsh conditions during pregnancy. Monitoring vertebrae in modern rhinos could indicate the level of extinction risk

August 29, 2017

Summary: A study reports on the incidence of abnormal cervical (neck) vertebrae in woolly rhinos, which strongly suggests a vulnerable condition in the species. Given the considerable birth defects that are associated with this condition, the researchers argue it is very possible that developmental abnormalities contributed towards the eventual extinction of these late Pleistocene rhinos.

Researchers from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden examined woolly rhino and modern rhino neck vertebrae from several European and American museum collections and noticed that the remains of woolly rhinos from the North Sea often possess a ‘cervical’ (neck) rib — in contrast to modern rhinos.

The study, published in the open access journal PeerJ today, reports on the incidence of abnormal cervical vertebrae in woolly rhinos, which strongly suggests a vulnerable condition in the species. Given the considerable birth defects that are associated with this condition, the researchers argue it is very possible that developmental abnormalities contributed towards the eventual extinction of these late Pleistocene rhinos.

In modern animals, the presence of a ‘cervical rib’ (a rib attached to a cervical vertebra) is an unusual event, and is cause for further investigation. Though the rib itself is relatively harmless, this condition is often associated with inbreeding and adverse environmental conditions during pregnancy.

Frietson Galis, one of the authors of the peer-reviewed study, found a remarkably high percentage of these neck ribs in the woolly mammoth, published in a previous study.

“This aroused our curiosity to also check the woolly rhino, a species that, like the woolly mammoth lived during the late Pleistocene and similarly died out,” said Alexandra van der Geer, one of the authors of the study. “The woolly rhino bones were all dredged from the North Sea and river deltas in the Netherlands. We knew these were just about the last rhinos living there, so we suspected something could be wrong here as well. Our work now shows that there was indeed a problem in the woolly rhino population.”

The absence of cervical ribs in the modern sample is by no means evidence that rhino populations today are healthy. Museum collections are based on rhino specimens that were collected at least five decades ago. Rhinoceros numbers are dwindling extremely fast, especially the last two decades, resulting in near extinction for some species and the total extinction of the western black rhinoceros.

“Our study suggests that monitoring the health of the vertebrae in rhinos has the potential to timely detect developmental errors that indicate the level of extinction risk,” said Frietson Galis.

Advertisements

African rhinos in love, video


This video says about itself:

First Time Rhino Affection Caught On Film – Africa – BBC Earth

14 August 2017

Whilst filming at night the team witness rhinos showing affection for the first time!

World Wildlife Ranger Day in Kenya


This video from Kenya says about itself:

5 September 2016

On World Ranger Day, we hear from the persons at the front-line to protect our rhinos from the threat of poaching.

This video from Kenya says about itself:

5 September 2016

A tribute to the brave men and women on Ol Pejeta who risk it all to protect our wildlife.

Rhino charges car in South Africa


This video from South Africa says about itself:

22 June 2016

Watch this moment a Black Rhino decides to charge a group of photographers!!

The video really shows just how fast and unpredictable animals can be and we should always be ready for anything when watching these magnificent animals.

No location given due to rhino poaching.

Video by: Sam and Andrew

Read full story here.

Little girl meets baby rhino


This video from Kenya says about itself:

Young Girl Goes For A Stroll With Endangered Southern White Rhino Named Ringo

20 May 2016

On Ol Pejeta, children get an incredible chance to meet Ringo the rhino. They get up close and personal with him and learn about wildlife and conservation. This is the future. Only if we teach our children to respect and appreciate animals will we be able to turn the tide of extinction. So bring your child to Ol Pejeta and teach them to be kind.

See also here.

THE LAST 3 NORTHERN WHITE RHINOS “Hearing Zachary Mutai speak about the three critically endangered rhinos in his care is like listening to a doting dad extoll the virtues of a beloved child.” [HuffPost]