Wednesday, April 23, 2014
   
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Rhinoceros

Parent Category: Things To Know

 
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1.  There are five types of rhinoceros: White, Indian, Javan, Black and Sumatran.  Each of the species have distinct variations that set them apart.  Black and white rhinos live in Africa. The Indian rhino lives in India. The Javan and Sumatran rhinos live in Indonesia. Rhinos have lived on earth for over 50 million years.  Today, a rhino can have a lifespan of 35 to 40 years.

 2.  The white rhino’s name comes from the Dutch word “weit” which means wide and is talking about their wide, square muzzle.  The white rhino is also actually gray in color.  The black rhino is also gray in color and has a hooked lip.  Both the black and the white rhino have two horns on their head.  The longer horn sits on top of the nose.  The horn is actually made up of thickly matted hair instead of bone.

 3.  The average rhino measures about 60 inches at the shoulder and can weigh form 1 to 2 tons.  A white rhino can stand 6 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh almost 8 thousand pounds or the same as 50 average-sized men.  For all its bulk, the rhino is very agile and can quickly turn in a small space.  Rhinos can run 40 miles per hour.

 4.  Rhinos are odd-toed (three toes) ungulates, which means they are mammals that have hooves. Rhinos are more closely related to horses than hippos. Black rhinos have a prehensile upper lip (like a set of fingers) that can be used to pull out the smallest piece of vegetation from a thorn bush. Showing their intelligence, they can also use their lip to open gates and even car doors.

 5.  The white rhino’s habitat is the grassland and open savanna.  The black rhino lives mainly in areas with dense, woody vegetation.  All rhinos are herbivores, which means they eats plants and grasses.  In fact, white rhinos can eat plants that are toxic to other animals. If it weren't for the rhino, the African plains would be overtaken with these pesky, poisonous weeds.

 6.  The rhino has a symbiotic relationship (where two animals work together to help each other) with oxpeckers, also called tick birds.  This bird eats ticks off the rhino’s body and will squawk loudly when danger is near.

 7.  Rhinos live in home ranges that sometimes overlap with each other. Feeding grounds, water holes and wallows (water where rhinos wallow in the mud) may be shared. The black rhino usually lives by itself, while the white rhino tends to be much more social. Rhinos are also rather ill-tempered and have become more so in areas where they have been constantly disturbed.  However, when rhinos spend time with their young and other rhinos, their behavior is more gentle and playful.

 8.  While their eyesight is poor, which is probably why they will sometimes charge without apparent reason, their sense of smell and hearing are very good. Rhinos have an extended "vocabulary" of snorts, grunts, growls, squeaks, and bellows. When attacking, the rhino lowers its head, snorts, breaks into a gallop reaching speeds of 30 miles an hour, and gores or strikes powerful blows with its horns.

 9.  The closest rhino relationship is between a female and her calf.  They stay together from 2 to 4 years.  As the calf matures, it may leave its mother and join other females and their young, where it is tolerated for some time before living completely on its own.  The offspring of the white rhino can weigh 150 pounds at birth and the black rhino’s calf can weigh 100 pounds,

 10.  The natural predators of the rhino are people.  Because the rhino has the predictable behavior of going to its water hole on a daily basis, people can just wait until the rhino shows up and then kill it.  Rhinos have been hunted to near extinction, mostly because of their horns, and are now protected and considered an endangered species.  The black rhino is a symbol for conservation in Africa, just as the bald eagle is to us.

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Fast Facts Resources
Wikipedia
American Wildlife Foundation
Kids'Planet:  Rhinoceros

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