The woolly rhinoceros was, with its two types of fur, well-adapted to the cold. The outer layer of fur consisted of long, rough, protective guard hairs and under the outer-fur was the light and warm wool. The front horn measured up to 1 meter and was “flat” on both sides. The horn was used to remove the ice and snow that covered the plants in the winter.

In Ukraine, as the only place in the world, they found a woolly rhinoceros with flesh on – en female buried in mud. Otherwise there is usually only found bones and skulls. In France there are found approximately 30,000 years old cave paintings of woolly rhinoceroses

The woolly rhinoceros can probably be traced back to the cold Tibetan plateau. DNA-analyses and fossiles suggest that the cold Tibetan plateau functioned as a “cradle” for the evolution of the woolly rhinoceros and possibly several other ice age animals. The oldest found fossil is 3,7 million years old, and the newest is only 10,000 years old. The stocky compact woolly body with short legs, small ears, and long fur did well in the cold, and the long front horn has been perfect in the hunt for food as a tool to remove the snow from the plants.

Classification – Family

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the closest relative to the woolly rhinoceros.


Scientific name: Coelodonta antiquitatis.

Length: 3,0-3,8 m.

Height:Shoulder-height ca. 2 m.

Weight: 2-3 tons.

Food source: Plants like grass, short shrubs, and herbs.

Distribution: Found in Europe and Asia.

Status: Extinct. The oldest fossil of a woolly rhinoceros is found on the Tibetan plateau and it is approximately 3,7 mio. years old. It became extinct approximately 10,000 years ago. Five findings of woolly rhinoceros have been found in Denmark