Rhinoceros horns have gradually shortened over the past century as shown by apromoted by the universities of Helsinki (Finland) and (United Kingdom). The researchers believe that the horns have become smaller over time due to intensive huntingwhich seeks the largest specimens, given the high price as or for use in traditional medicines in China and Vietnam.
“People have basically always wanted the biggest horn,” said Oscar Wilson, lead author of the research, which was based on comparative of the size of the horn in relation to the length of the animal in 80 photographs from 1886 to 2018. He has also used some engravings of the(RRC) in Utrecht. whose funds date back to the fifteenth century.
This fact had already been documented in wild elephants and goats, but it is the first time that it has been demonstrated in. “Hunting preferences for specimens with larger horns or tusks has resulted in specimens with smaller features surviving and reproducing more, transmitting these traits to future generations and resulting in evolutionary change», the researchers write in the journal ‘People and Nature’.
The phenomenon could have consequences in the future because, according to Wilson, rhinos use their horns “as an aid to catch food or defend themselves from predators, so we believe that having smaller horns will be detrimental to your survival«.
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