Rhino Runs Rampant

The rhino did run, about 20,000 years ago, according to Mrs. Suzanne Grandy, science instructor at St. Clair County Community College.

The woolly rhinoceros is the latest addition to SC4’s fossil collection. The rhino skeleton replica fossil artifact is valued at $15,000. Rodger Henn of West Chester, Ohio donated it to the college after a conversation with Michael Sincak, according to Grandy.

What we have is a cast of that original skeleton that was excavated in 2005. Only two of them were made, and Michael Sincak made both of them,” said Grandy.

Henn originally intended to send the replica to The Field Museum in Chicago when Sincak said, “Give it to someone who will appreciate it, give it to the college.” Not long after that conversation took place, the woolly rhino appeared on campus.

Rhino Image provided by Joe Tucciarone

Rhino Image provided by Joe Tucciarone


Michael Sincak owns Treasures of the Earth, Ltd. “He’s a dealer in fossils, minerals and various types of artifacts. He also creates these fine museum quality reproductions,” said Grandy, “I’ve seen his work in several museums. Cranbrook has a lot of his work.”

Rodger Henn and Michael Sincak have been very generous and kind to us,” said Grandy. Sincak has donated over 40,000 worth of museum quality artifacts, replicas and fossils, to date.

The rhino died 20,000 years ago and was excavated in 2005 in Tobolsk, Siberia, Russia. “The woolly rhinoceros was an herbivore that grazed on grasses and tundra. They lived in cooler climates south of the glaciers. Early cave paintings in Spain and France depicted the woolly rhino, early humans hunted it,” said Grandy.

The horns were used for defense. They also probably used the horns to move vegetation back and forth. The front horn is always worn kind of flat and we assume it’s from that. No one knows the reason for their extinction. It could have been due to hunting or a climate change,” said Grandy.

Dr. Ann Perdy Nielsen of SC4’s math and science department said, “We have quite the collection built up already. There are more things we are still working on display space for. Hopefully there will be some more additions of new and interesting things.”

The various fossils, replicas and artifacts are displayed in the first-floor lobby of the Clara E. Mackenzie Building. Viewing is open to the public.

Rachel Olivia Kobylas

Staff Writer

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