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Rare rhino has been endangered for 9,000 years

Posted on Sunday, 17 December, 2017 | Comment icon 5 comments

Very few Sumatran rhinos now remain. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 International Rhino Foundation
There are now fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos left on Earth, but exactly who or what is responsible ?
It's one of the most endangered species on the planet, yet despite much of the blame being placed on poachers, the truth is that these magnificent mammals have actually been on the brink of extinction for the better part of 10,000 years.

In a recent study, a multinational team of researchers sequenced the entire Sumatran rhino genome using samples taken from Ipuh - a male rhino who lived for decades at Cincinnati Zoo.

The team's findings indicated that the species may have been in trouble for a very long time, even as far back as the Pleistocene era - the period during which their population reached its peak.

As the Pleistocene came to a close however, their numbers plummeted, resulting in a meager population of as little as 700 individuals by around 9,000 years ago.

For whatever reason, their numbers never recovered and continued to decline until the present day.

Source: | Comments (5)

Tags: Sumatran Rhino

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Still Waters on 17 December, 2017, 16:03
It's a wonder there are any left today at all.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Mr.United_Nations on 17 December, 2017, 18:48
Wast one captured on video or was that Java rhino?
Comment icon #3 Posted by taniwha on 17 December, 2017, 23:05
awww they so cute.
Comment icon #4 Posted by FLOMBIE on 17 December, 2017, 23:28
So, if they are endangered for 9000 years, maybe it's just their time to go?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sundew on 18 December, 2017, 14:24
Inbreeding can seriously affect a population of animals. It may not show externally but rather in a lack of robustness. Hunting and habitat destruction then speeds up the cycle when populations are fragmented into islands of forests. This is now thought by some to be the reason for the decline of the Thylacine of Australia, that they were already on the way out when man arrived,first on the mainland where competition from Dingos certainly did not help them, thena weakened inbred population on Tasmania, which wasruthlessly hunted to extinction. If you look at the Florida Panther, a genetica... [More]

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