The Bulky Rhinoceros

June 12, 2022 3 min read

The Bulky Rhinoceros

Rhino is a big bulky mammal that belongs to the family Rhinocerotidae. The name rhinoceros is derived from the Greek Ancient word, which means 'nose-horned.’ It is one of the unique animals on Earth, but its uniqueness causes danger to their survival as their deep horn poaching is sold on the black market.

Pc: Pixabay

Types of Rhinos:

Typically there are a total of 5 species of rhinoceros; three of them are listed as endangered species. The Rhino's total world population is less than 35,000.

  • White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum)
  • Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)
  • Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)
  • Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)
  • Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum):

Pc: Unsplash

Distinctive Feature:

White rhinoceros have wide square-shaped lips and a prominent muscular hump. They have broad flat mouths for grazing.

Body Color and Body shape:

The body of a white rhino is bulky, with a shorter neck and large chest. The body color is somewhat in between yellow and grey.

Body Size and Body Weight:

Males are twice as heavier as females. The white male rhino has an average body weight of 2800 kg. The white rhino's head-shoulder length is 7ft, while the rhino is 17ft from head-body.

Subspecies:

There are two subspecies of Ceratotherium simum, and these are

  • Southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum)
  • Northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni)

The white rhinoceros is a native African rhino. Northern white rhinoceros is extinct, while the southern white rhino is considered the major contributor to the world's total rhino population.

Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis):

Pc:Pexels

Distinctive Feature:

Black rhinos' distinctive feature is their triangular upper lip. They have pointed mouths to grasp twigs. The black rhino is smaller than the white rhino.

Body Color and Body Shape:

The black rhino is almost the same color and body shape as the white rhino. 

Body Size and Body Weight:

Females are smaller than males, an adult rhino's body weight is 18,000 kg, and its height is 14ft.

Subspecies:

There are a total of four subspecies of black rhino, and these are,

  • South-central (Diceros bicornis minor)
  • South-western (Diceros bicornis occidentalis)
  • East African (Diceros bicornis michaeli)
  • West African (Diceros bicornis longipes)

The south-central subspecies are common through Zimba, Zimbwave, and Tanzania to the north and east of South Africa. The West African subspecies were declared extinct. East African subspecies are present in Tanzania.

Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis):

Pc: Pixabay

Distinctive feature:

Rhinoceros unicornis has a unique feature of a single horn and thick body armor-like skin. It is also called the greater one-horned Rhinoceros.

Body Color and Body shape:

Indian rhino has silver brown skin that folds into the rump, back, and shoulders. 

Body Size and Body Weight:

Asian rhino is as large as white African rhino; their size is 7-13ft, and their recorded body weight is 4000 kg.

Distribution:

Indian rhino range across Asia and is present in Pakistan, Nepal, China, Myanmar, India, and Bengal. They are primarily kept in protected areas and national forests to protect their population.

Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis):

Distinctive Feature:

One of the distinctive features of the Sumatran rhino is that their entire body is covered with hair. This rhino is an endangered species, and one of its subspecies is extinct. The Sumatran rhino is known to have prehensile lips.

Body Shape and Body Color:

Sumatran rhinoceros is known for their prehistoric appearance. The body color is reddish-brown.

Body Size and Body Weight:

Sumatran rhinos are among the smallest in the world, but their size is still up to 10ft, and they weigh about 1000 kg.

Subspecies:

Sumatran rhinoceros has three subspecies 

  • Sumatran rhinoceros proper (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis sumatrensis)
  • Bornean rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrissoni)
  • Northern Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis lasiotis)

Northern Sumatran rhinoceros is considered extinct now. These rhinos are present in Sumatra and Borneo at higher altitudes. 

Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus):

Javan rhinoceros is the largest endangered mammal that was once present in southeast Asia. Now it is present only in limited numbers in Indonesia National park.

Some Interesting Rhino Facts:

  • Rhinoceros horns are not true horns and are made of keratin.

Pc: Unsplash

  • Rhinoceros are solitary mammals; however, white rhinos live in groups, and black rhinos are the most aggressive.
  • Rhinoceros have exceptional senses of smell and hearing but poor eyesight.
  • Rhino is known to mark their trails with urine and feces.
  • Rhinoceros are present in thick forests and savanna.
  • Rhinos are herbivores and eat shrubs, trees, fruits, leaves, grasses, and buds to gain nutrients and show aggressive behavior to scare their predators. 

Pc: Unsplash

  • Rhinos can live up to 30 years in a wild environment.
  • Despite their robust bodies, Rhinoceros can run at the speed of 30 miles per hour in the thick forest.

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