White rhino eating grass in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. By Simon Eeman | Shutterstock.com
White rhino eating grass in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. By Simon Eeman | Shutterstock.com

About white rhinoceros.

It is the second largest land mammal after the elephant.


Its horns are made of keratin, the same material hair and nails are made of.


They have poor eyesight, but a very good sense of smell and an acute sense of hearing.


The difference between white and black rhinoceros (both African) is not their color. The main difference is the larger size of the white rhinoceros and the flat shape of its lip to graze on grasses. Black rhinoceros feed on roots and they have hook shaped lips to dig them up.


The belief that these animals’ horn has medicinal power is leading to a serious decline in their population due to poaching.


It is one of the eldest terrestrial mammals on earth.


White rhinos are solitary animals that live with other members and males associate with females during the mating season. They usually live in little herds of around 14 members.


Despite its robust appearance, the skin of these animals is more sensitive than it looks. They often roll in the mud to cool off, as sun protection and insect repellent.


A white rhino can reach a speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) for short periods.


Another distinctive feature of the white rhino is the noticeable hump on the back of its neck. It houses the ligament that supports the heavy weight of its head.


These animals don’t have incisors, only premolars and molars adapted for grinding the vegetation they graze on.


The main function of its horn is defense and territorial threat, but they also use it during courtship to attract females in estrus.

White Rhino in Nakuru, Kenya. By albdesign | Shutterstock.com
White Rhino in Nakuru, Kenya. By albdesign | Shutterstock.com
COMMON NAMECONSERVATION STATUS
White rhinocerosNear threatened
SCIENTIFIC NAMESIZE
Ceratotherium simum3,4-4 m (11,2-13,1 ft)
FAMILYWEIGHT
Rhinocerotidae1700-2300 kg (3700-5100 lb)
ORDERLIFESPAN
PerissodactylaUp to 50 years
CLASSGESTATION PERIOD
Mammalia16 months
POPULATIONDIET
20,000 individuals approx.Grassland, pasture.
HABITATRANGE
African savannah.South Africa, Kenya, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

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