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Scientists weigh in on 'giraffe relative' fossil

A prehistoric giraffe that died out 10,000 years ago might have been the largest ruminant that walked the Earth.
Victorian scientists believed the creature was a giraffe with a trunk and a "missing link" between mammals.
Digital reconstructions of the bones show that while the giraffe was gigantic, the theory that it was as big as an elephant was not true.

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Xenokeryx amidalae
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Giraffe's long lost cousin found?

Well-preserved fossils of the extinct three-horn ruminant Xenokeryx amidalae found in central Spain suggest it is a close relation to modern giraffes.
A new investigation challenges the previously held view that this unusual looking creature is related to North American ancestors of deer.
Scientists say the new study will help us better understand the evolution of cranial features such as horns, as well as the evolution of land ecosystems.

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Our ancient human cousins may have fought off big cats with spears

Our ancient human cousins may have fought off big cats with spears, according to archaeological evidence.
The sabre-toothed cat lived alongside early humans, and may have been a fearsome enemy, say scientists.
Several feline teeth - and a chunk of arm bone - were uncovered at a site in Germany known for the oldest discovery of human spears.
 
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Rhino fossil found preserved in volcanic eruption

Researchers have identified the skull of a rhino that perished in a volcanic eruption about 9.2 million years ago, making it a rare find as less than two percent of such fossils are preserved.
The fossil, found in Turkey, is thought to be that of a large two-horned rhino common in the eastern Mediterranean region during that period, according to researchers led by Pierre-Olivier Antoine and colleagues from the University of Montpellier, France.

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What killed the Ice Age giants?

Anthropologist and BBC presenter Professor Alice Roberts digs into whether humans caused the extinction of prehistoric animals
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The fossils of the largest known bear to have ever lived have been found, a giant that was the most powerful land carnivore of its time, scientists said.
The remains were unearthed during the construction of a hospital in La Plata City, Argentina. It was a South American giant short-faced bear (Arctotherium angustidens), the earliest and largest member of its genus (its group of species of bears). This titan lived between 2 million to 500,000 years ago, with its closest living relative being the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) of South America.

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Ground sloth
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Scientists excavating an Ice Age ecosystem in the resort town of Snowmass Village say they have found the first Jefferson's ground sloth ever discovered in Colorado.
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Giant lions were roaming around Britain, Europe and North America up to 13,000 years ago, scientists from Oxford University have found.
Remains of giant cats previously discovered were thought to be a species of jaguar or tiger but after DNA analysis they were proved to be lions.
They were 25% bigger than the species of African lion living today, and had longer legs to chase their prey.
They would have lived in icy tundra with mammoth and sabretooth tigers.

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John Ackerman wasn't looking to dig up history as he crept through the cold, wet southern Minnesota cave that spring afternoon in 2008. A longtime caver, the 54-year-old Farmington man simply wanted to dig out some sediment to see where a newly discovered side passage might lead.
But the prehistoric stag moose antler he and two friends unearthed that day and a sabre-tooth cat skull they found two months later may be the most significant paleontological discoveries in the Upper Midwest in years.

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Ursus spelaeus
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Enormous cave bears, Ursus spelaeus, that once inhabited a large swathe of Europe, from Spain to the Urals, died out 27,800 years ago, around 13 millennia earlier than was previously believed, scientists have reported.
The new date coincides with a period of significant climate change, known as the Last Glacial Maximum, when a marked cooling in temperature resulted in the reduction or loss of vegetation forming the main component of the cave bears' diet.
In a study published in Boreas, researchers suggest it was this deterioration in food supply that led to the extinction of the cave bear, one of a group of 'megafauna' including woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, giant deer and cave lion to disappear during the last Ice Age.

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