A rhinoceros (usually abbreviated to Rhino), is one of any 5 extant species of the odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae, and also any of the numerous extinct species. Two of these existing species are native to Africa and 3 to Southern Asia.
Their huge size often characterizes members of rhinoceros family (they’re some of the biggest remaining megafaunas, with all of the species can reach one ton or even more in weight); and by a herbivorous diet. Also, they are distinguished due to their thick protective skin usually 1.5 to 5 cm thick, formed from layers of collagen located in a lattice structure; relatively tiny brains (400–600 g) for mammals of this size; and a huge horn. They largely eat leafy material, even though their capability to ferment food in their hindgut enables them to subsist on additional fibrous plant matter if needed. Different from other perissodactyls, the two African species of rhinoceros have no teeth at the front of their mouths, depending instead on their lips to pluck their food.
Rhinoceros are commonly killed by poachers for their horns that are acquired and sold on the specific black market, and that are used by some cultures for traditional medicinal or ornamental purposes. East Asia, particularly Vietnam, is the largest market for all rhino horns. By weight, rhino horns can cost as much as the precious mineral such as gold on the black market. Individuals grind up these horns and eventually consume them believing the dust has incredible therapeutic properties. Both the Sumatran rhinoceros and African species have 2 horns while the Javan and Indian rhinoceros have one horn.
Rhinos are seriously endangered animals which look like they’ve not changed much since ancient times (even though of course they seem to be woollier back then!). Poaching is almost being eradicated thanks to the habitat protection, and conservation efforts are beginning to make a significant difference to the destiny of these great animals.
Rhinos are prehistoric animals which have been on earth for many years. Currently, only 5 types of rhinos are remaining. The black and white rhinos which are found in Africa; Javan and Sumatran rhinos are found Indonesia, whereas one-horned rhinos are found in India. Let us explore more interesting facts about them.
1. Rhinoceros have thick, but sensitive skin.
Their skin may be very thick, but it can be extremely sensitive to insect bites and sunburns that’s reason they like to wallow very much – when the mud dries it helps to protect them from sunburns and insects.
2. Some rhinoceros use their teeth to defend themselves– not their horns.
When a larger one-horned rhino is suddenly threatened it gouges slashes and with its long, and sharp canine and incisors teeth of its lower jaw.
3. Rhinos usually have poor eyesight, but they’ve outstanding sense of hearing and smell.
4. White rhinoceros are the known to be the second largest land mammal
The white rhino is the biggest rhino species and can weigh more than 7700 lb. (3500 kg) and is the biggest land mammal after an elephant.
5. A white rhinoceros is really grey, not white. The name was derived from a Dutch word “wyd” that means broad and is a reference to its broad mouth.
6. A group of rhinos is also known as a crash. Black rhinos usually fight against each other. 30 percent of females and 50 percent of males die due to fighting.
7. Rhino horns are mainly made of keratin (a hair-like substance). The longest horn on a black rhino was four feet nine inches long (they average almost 20 in. in length on a black rhino).
8. Relative to their massive body size, rhinoceros have tiny brains. But this does not mean they’re stupid.
9. The nearest surviving ‘relatives’ of rhino are zebras, horses, and tapirs. They’re part of mammals’ group called odd-toed ungulates.
10. The black rhino can stay up to 5 days without water!