Information On The Rhinoceros


Rhinoceros Information
planet rhinoceros

The Black Rhinoceros of the Central and Southern African savannas is smaller than the white rhinoceros, standing about five and a half feet.

The word rhinoceros means "horn-nosed". Rhinos use their horns to dig the ground for salt, and to fight other Rhinos.

The horns of the rhinoceros are made up of keratinous material, not bone.

Their lifespan is up to fifty years.


The rhinoceros is colored a slate gray to a yellowish- brown. The ears and tail are the only areas that have hair. Most rhinos have two horns except for the one-horned Indian rhinoceros which is now extinct or nearly so.

Rhinos are active during the evening, night, and morning. They rest during the day. They can be found wallowing in muddy pools and sandy river beds.

The white rhinoceros is more sociable than the black rhino.


The white rhinoceros Ceratherium simum stands at six feet tall and weighs in at five tons. The rhino is a little taller than the hippopotamus but their weght is about the same. The rhinoceros has a advantage because it is the largest land animal next to the elephant.

The white rhino is timid, but can be ferocious when held at bay. They live in pairs and groups of three or four are common. Groups of six or seven may be found in good feeding areas.

A baby rhino can weigh up to 110 pounds at birth and weigh as much as 1000 pounds at 18 months old.


Egrets and tick birds can be found riding the backs of rhinos feeding on parasites and insects that are stirred up by the rhinos as they walk through the grass. The diet of the rhinoceros is made up of leaves, fruits, twigs and shrubs.

Rhinoceroses breed throught the year. During the breeding season, a pair may stay together for four months. They breed every few years. The gestation period is from seventeen to nineteen months. A single young is born and is active soon after birth and stays with the mother until another is born.

The Future of the Rhinoceros

The black rhinoceros could once be found in Africa, south of the Sahara Desert, in bush country, grasslands and open forests. However, due to poaching, they now are found only in small isolated populations, the two largest being in Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

The rhino's most distinguishing feature may very well be the cause of its extinction. Their horn has been prized for many years by traditional Eastern cultures. It has been carved into daggers and also ground into powder that is thought to have healing powers. No other large mammal has been as devastated by poaching. Once the most numerous of all rhino species, the black rhino has been the target of the greatest hunting pressure of all. In 1970 the world population of black rhinos was 65,000. By 1980 it dropped to 15,000, and today it is thought that fewer than 3,000 black rhinos remain.



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