This Odd-Nosed Antelope Is Experiencing a Mass Die-Off
The critically endangered saiga antelope, a native of the Central Asian steppe, also sports a schnoz with some remarkable abilities.
On the vast steppes of Central Asia, an endangered antelope is teetering on the brink.
This spring, a mysterious disease wiped out more than half of the species' remaining population on Earth, scientists recently announced at a meeting in Uzbekistan. More than 200,000 animals perished during the mass die-off in Kazakhstan, the bodies of adults and calves dotting the grasslands for miles.
Despite their comical appearance, saiga are unfamiliar to most. The goat-size critters sport a flexible, Gonzo-like proboscis that looks like a shortened elephant trunk. (Also see "5 Animals With Weird Noses.")
“Most people have just never heard of them,” she says.
So what purpose could such an ungainly schnoz serve?
By dissecting and scanning saiga noses, a scientific team