A rhino’s bones work very hard to support it’s size and activity. And as these mammal’s evolve and grow larger, their bones have to support more and more.
A new study from the Universities of Chicago and Oregon examined the bone health of rhinos and what changes have occurred over the species existence. The researchers found bone degradation, inflammation or infection in several rhino species, including the extinct North American and living African and Asian species.
To examine the issue further, the researchers analyzed the bone health of six extinct and one living rhino species. They looked into bone structure and total body mass changed, and how that has changed over the past 50 million years. They found that bone diseases increase dramatically from 28% to 65-80% as new species evolved. In addition, bone health decreased significantly as body mass increased.
The study’s findings may help in predicting the long-term bone health of these animals, other animals and maybe even humans.