12 Things You You Might Not Have Known About Rhinos
1.The meaning of rhinoceros
Rhinoceros is a combination of 2 Greek words; rhino meaning nose and ceros meaning horn.
2. There are 5 species of rhinoceros
Two species are native to Africa – white rhinos and black rhinos.
Three species are native to Asia – Greater one-horned rhinos, Javan rhinos and Sumatran rhinos.
3. Adult rhinos have no natural predators
Adult rhinos have almost no natural predators except humans. Poaching, hunting, habitat loss, & habitat fragmentation have taken its toll on all the rhino species.
4. About 500,000 rhinos roamed in the wild at the beginning of the 20th century
Today, there are only 30,000 rhinos left in the wild.
5. Rhino horns are made of a protein called keratin
A rhino’s horn is a compacted mass of hairs that continually grow throughout their lifetime. This protein is the same substance found in our hair and fingernails.
6. Ranked by size
White rhinos are the second largest land mammal after the elephant. They can weigh over 5000 pounds!
White rhinos are also the largest rhino species, followed by the greater one-horned rhino, the Javan rhino, the black rhino, and lastly the Sumatran rhino.
7. Rhino have three toes on each foot
Rhinos belong to a group called odd-toed angulates or perissodactyls. Their closest living relatives are horses, zebras and tapirs.
8. There is no color difference between black and white rhinos
Both rhino species are gray in color. White rhinos got their name from the Afrikaans word “wyd” which means wide and refers to their muzzle.
9. Browsers vs. grazers
Rhinos are broadly divided into browsers or grazers – depending on their style of feeding. Grazers, like white rhinos, feed low on the ground and prefer short grasses. Browsers, on the other hand, prefer leaves and twigs.
10. Follow or lead
White rhino calves will run in front of their mothers, while black rhino calves will run behind their mothers.
11. Rhino gestation period is 15-16 months
Once born, a newborn rhino will be walking within one hour after birth but will remain unsteady for a few days. The calf will remain with their mothers for 2 to 4 years.
12. Insect repellent and sunscreen
Rhinos will wallow in mud and take dust baths to protect themselves against biting insects, ticks, and from the sun.
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