Interesting Facts About Sumatran Rhinos: The Smallest And Hairiest Of All Rhinos

Sumatran Rhino

Sumatran Rhino

Sumatran rhinos, the smallest species of all rhinos and most endangered species of rhinoceros due to habitat destruction and poaching. Also, it’s the only species of Asian rhino that has two horns. The Sumatran rhino is also known as the “hairy rhino” since it’s the only rhino species that has fringed ears and a coat of reddish-brown hair.
The Sumatran rhinos, also known as Asian two-horned rhinos, is one of five extant rhinoceroses and a rare member of the family Rhinocerotidae. It’s the smallest rhinoceros, though it’s still a large mammal; it stands 3.67-4.76 feet (112-145 cm) high at the shoulder, with the head-and-body length of 7.7-10.4 feet (2.36-3.18 m) and a tail of 14-28 inches (35-70 cm). It’s the only extant species of the genus Dicerorhinus.
A reddish-brown hair coat covers most of Sumatran rhino’s body. Like both African species, it has two horns; the larger is the nasal horn, usually 5.9–9.8 in (15–25 cm), while the other horn is usually a stub.
The Sumatran rhinos once inhabited a continuous range as far north as Bangladesh, eastern India, and Burma. They inhabit hilly areas close to water, especially steep upper valleys with copious undergrowth. The Sumatran rhinoceros lives in both highland and lowland secondary rainforest, cloud forests, and swamps.
Political turmoil in Burma has prevented any study or assessment of possible survivors. The last reports of stray animals from Indian limits were in the 1990s. Some conservationists hope Sumatran rhinos are likely to survive in Burma, even though it’s considered unlikely. Unconfirmed reports also placed it in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. All known living animals are found in Peninsular Malaysia, the island of Sumatra, and Sabah, Borneo.
Sumatran rhinos live in only five areas: Way Kambas National Park, Gunung Leuser National Park, and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park on Sumatra; Danum Valley in Sabah, Malaysia, on Indonesian Borneo west of Samarindah, and on the island of Borneo. The Sumatran rhinos are very scattered across its range, much more than the other Asian rhinos. That is why it has been quite difficult for conservationists to protect members of the species effectively. Also, Sumatran rhinoceroses don’t survive outside of their ecosystem.
The Sumatran Rhinos’ favorite pastime is wallowing in mud baths where they relax for up to 300 minutes a day! Below are some amazing and interesting facts about Sumatran Rhinos:
1. Sumatran rhinos are the most vocal rhino species, and they communicate through twisting saplings into patterns, leaving excrement, and marking soil with its feet. Interestingly, they are mostly solitary animals except for offspring-rearing and courtship. The program that brought forty Sumatran rhinos into captivity with the goal of preserving the species partly aided researchers in studying Sumatran rhinos much better than the similarly reclusive Javan rhinoceros.
2. Females give birth to one calf every three years, after a 15 to 16-month gestation period. The calf will stay with its mother for nearly 18 months or until the next calf is born. Males reach sexual maturity at ten years, whereas females mature at six to seven years. The oldest rhino in captivity lived for more than 32 years. Breeding Sumatran rhinos in captivity hasn’t been successful. The lifespan of Sumatran rhino is thought to be 35 to 40 years in the wild.
3. In 1814, Johann Fischer von Waldheim, a renowned German scientist, and curator of the State Darwin Museum in Moscow, Russia gave the Sumatran rhino species a scientific name.
4. In 1793, the first documented Sumatran rhino was killed 9.9 miles outside Fort Marlborough. A written description and drawings of the animal were sent to the British naturalist and botanist Joseph Banks (then president of Royal Society of London) who published an excellent paper on the specimen that year.
5. The Sumatran rhinos usually consume up to 50 kgs (110 lbs) of food per day. The Sumatran rhino is a folivore with a diet of shoots, twigs, leaves, and young saplings. Most feeding takes place in the morning and just before nightfall. The most substantial portion of their diet is tree saplings with a trunk diameter of 0.5–2.5 inches (1–6 cm). By measuring dung samples, researchers have identified over hundred food species, which Sumatran rhinos consume.
6. The Sumatran rhinos make three distinct noises: whistle-blows, whales, and eeps. The Sumatran rhinoceros is the most vocal of the rhino species. The observations of the species in zoos show the animal almost always vocalizing. It’s also known to do so in the wild. The eep, a short, one-second-long yelp, is their most common sound.

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