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What does a Rhinoceros look like?
The Rhinoceros is most famous for its large horn, or horns, right on the top of its head near its nose. Some types of Rhinos have two horns and some one horn. Rhinos are also very large. Some of them can easily weigh more than 4000 pounds! Rhinoceroses also have very thick skin. A group of rhinos is called a crash.
What does a Rhinoceros eat?
Rhinos are herbivores, meaning they eat only plants. They can eat all sorts of plants depending on what's available. They prefer leaves.
What's the deal with the rhino horn?
Rhino horns are made of keratin. This is the same stuff that makes up your finger and toe nails. The size of the horn can vary depending on the type of rhino. For example, a typical horn on a white rhino will grow to around 2 feet long. However, some horns have been known to get close to 5 feet long! Many cultures prize the horns. It is the hunting of the horns that has caused rhinos to become endangered.
Are all Rhinos the same?
There are five types of Rhinoceros:
Javan Rhinoceros - This rhino is nearly extinct. It is thought that there are only 60 left in the world. It comes from Indonesia (another name for Java) as well as Vietnam. Javan Rhinos like to live in the rain forest or tall grass. They only have a single horn and it's the hunting of this horn that has nearly pushed the Javan Rhino to extinction.
Sumatran Rhinoceros - Like its name, this rhino comes from Sumatra. Since Sumatra is cold, the Sumatran Rhino has the most hair or fur of all the Rhinos. The Sumatran Rhino is also the smallest of the Rhinos and has short stubby legs. It is critically endangered with around 300 left in the world.
Black Rhinoceros - This rhino comes from Africa. It's not really black, as the name indicates, but is a light gray color. Black rhinos can weigh as much as 4000 pounds, but it is still smaller than the white rhino. They have two horns and are also critically endangered.
Indian Rhinoceros - Guess where the Indian rhino comes from? That's right, India! Together with the white rhino the Indian rhino is the largest and can weigh well over 6000 pounds. It has one horn.
White Rhinoceros - The white rhino hails from Africa. Like the black rhino the white rhino isn't really white, but gray. The white rhino is huge and, after the elephant, is one of the largest land mammals on the planet. It has 2 horns. There are around 14,000 white rhinos left on earth making it the most populous of the rhinos.
Fun Facts about Rhinos
- Rhinos might be big, but they can run up to 40 miles per hour. You don't want to be in the way when a 6000 pound rhino charges.
- Rhinos like the mud because it helps to protect their sensitive skin from the sun.
- The word rhinoceros comes from the Greek words for nose and horn.
- They have good hearing, but poor eyesight.
For more about mammals:
African Wild Dog
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