Rhino or rhinoceros is the largest remaining megafauna. It exceeds tons of weight. Rhinos have one or sometimes two horns. They have a thick protective collagen layer over their body and its thickness is 1.5-5 cm.
As it is mentioned earlier, there are a total of five rhino species in the world. Let’s have a look at the characteristics of each species below.
White rhinos (Ceratotherium simum)
White rhinos are bigger in size and have a large head. A white rhino has a short neck and a broad chest. The weight of a male white rhino is 2,400 kg and the female white rhino weighs 1,609 kg. Their height is 3.5-4.6 m. It has two horns on its snout. The front horn is 90 cm long on average and it can grow up to 150 cm. Moreover, the white rhino isn’t white in color. Its color is yellowish-brown or slate-grey.
There are a total of two subspecies of rhinos. These are:
- Southern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum simum)
- Northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni)
Black rhinos (Diceros bicornis)
Black rhinos generally weigh 850-1,600 kg and in some exceptional cases, adult males can weigh close to 1,800 kg. They also have two horns on their snouts. The front horn is 50 cm long on average and it can grow up to 140 cm. However, they are smaller than white rhinos.
Indian rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis)
Indian rhinos are bigger than other one-horned rhinos. The adult male Indian rhino weighs 2,500-3,200 kg and the females weigh 1,900 kg. The males are 1.75-2.0 m in shoulder height. An Indian rhino has one horn and it can grow up to 20-60 cm. The size of the Indian rhino is similar to that of the African white rhino.
Javan rhinos (Rhinoceros sondaicus)
Javan rhinos are one of the most endangered large mammals on the planet. The adult Javan rhino is 3.1-3.2 m in height. These rhinos weigh between 900-2,000 kg. Like Indian rhinos, they are one-horned rhinos. Their horns can grow up to 26 cm. The Javan rhino has hairless skin and the color of this rhino is generally gray.
Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)
Sumatran rhinos are the smallest rhino species. An adult male’s height is about 2.4-3.2 m. Its weight is around 700-1000 kg. It also has two horns like the rhino species of Africa. The front horn can grow up to 25-79 cm in length. Sumatran rhino’s color is reddish-brown.
Range & habitat
Let’s have a look at the range and habitat of each rhino species below.
White rhinos: The southern white rhinos live in Southern Africa and they are found in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Uganda. Whereas the northern white rhinos live in the parts of northwestern Uganda, southern Chad, southwestern Sudan, the eastern part of Central African Republic, and northeastern Congo.
Black rhinos: The black rhinos live in central Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. They are also found in eastern South Africa, Namibia, southern Angola, western Botswana, and the western part of South Africa.
Indian rhinos: Indian rhinos are native to India. They live in the grasslands and forests in the Himalayan foothills.
Javan rhinos: As of 2015, only a few Javan rhinos remain. They can be found in Ujung Kulon National Park of Java in Indonesia.
Sumatran rhinos: Sumatran rhinos are only found in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia.
Rhinos are herbivores and grazers. They generally eat grass and prefer the shortest grains. However, they also eat foliage, trees, bushes, and fruits.
Behavior & lifestyle
Rhinos generally spend half of the day grazing and eating. They rest for one-third of the day and at other times they are seen doing other things. Rhinos love to wallow in muds for cooking themselves.
Rhinos give birth to offspring in an interval of two to three years. Before giving birth the mother rhino chases its calf away. They live 30-50 years on average.
Fun rhino facts
Here is a list of “Top 5 Fun Rhino Facts”. You can read it below.
- The African rhinos don’t have teeth at the front of their mouths. So, they rely on their lips to pluck grass.
- The rhino horns are made of keratin. The same protein that makes up our hair and fingernails.
- Adult rhinos don’t have any threat of predators in the wild, other than humans!
- Greek Historian Agatharchides mentions the rhinos in his book “On the Erythraean Sea”. It dates back to the 2nd century BC.
- A female rhino gives birth to a single calf after gestating for about 16 months.
Meet the rhino
Did you enjoy learning more about the rhino? Have you ever met this unique creature face-to-face? Tell us about your rhino experience in the comment section below. Because those who care share!
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- “Javan Rhino“. WWF. 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015.