Save the Rhino Day
In honor of National Save the Rhino Day (May 1st), AnimalPlex would like to present a special issue all about this great horned beauty. We’ll go over a few cool little facts, introduce you to all five species, and talk a little about the dangers that Rhinos face from becoming extinct. We hope you Rhino lovers enjoy this special Save the Rhino Day issue of AnimalPlex. All credits go to https://www.savetherhino.org/
Can you name all 5 Rhino species?
Black rhino can occur in a range of habitats where there is sufficient resources to support them. When looking for a new residence, rhinos will tend to look for somewhere with a healthy supply of shrubs and woody herb and plant-life occur, and also a place with a nearby water source and mineral licks, that is within at least a 5- 10 mile radius. This spans a wide range of habitats in Africa, including: semi-desert Savannah, woodlands, forests and wetlands. Black rhinos can be either solitary and territorial, or semi-social and less aggressively-territorial, depending on the habitat. Incredible footage from the recent BBC Africa series recorded a group of black rhinos congregating socially at a waterhole, thus disproving myths that black rhinos are strictly solitary.
White rhinos are sedentary, semi-social and territorial. Adult bulls are basically solitary and associate only with females in estrus. Stable groups (commonly known as ‘crashes’) of up to six animals can be commonly observed (although this is sadly a rarer sight these days, due to poaching), while larger groups are the result of temporary aggregations, due to availability of food, watering, or resting conditions.
Greater one-horned rhinos are usually solitary, except for females with small calves. Males have loosely defined territories where they live alone, and which they defend aggressively, but may overlap with other territories. The territories change according to food availability in relation to the current season. The females can move in and out of these territories as they like. If food is abundant within an area, it is not unusual to see several animals all grazing close together. As the name implies, Greater one-horned rhinos have one horn, which is typically 20-61 cm long, and weighs up to three kg. It has the same horn structure as the hooves of horses and re-grows if broken off. It is not used for fighting but to search for food and to forage for roots.
Sumatran rhinos have two horns that are dark grey to black in color. In the wild they are usually very smooth and form a slender cone that is curved backwards. The larger front (anterior) horn is typically 15-25 cm long, and the smaller second (posterior) horn is normally much smaller, seldom more than a few cm in length, and often not more than an irregular knob on the tip of the nose. Rhino horn is made of keratin (the same as fingernails and hair fibers) and will re-grow if broken off. It is not used for fighting, but for scraping mud from the sides of wallows, pulling down food plants, and aids protection of the head and nose when breaking through dense forest vegetation.
Javan rhinos have long pointed upper lip, which assists in grasping their food. Such prehensile lips are found in all browsing rhino species: the African black rhino, and the greater one-horned and Sumatran rhinos. As for the other Asian rhinos, there are two folds in the skin circling the body behind the front legs and before the hind legs, and horizontal folds at the base of the legs. The neck folds are less massive than in the greater one-horned rhino, but two folds continue over the back of the neck, forming a characteristic “saddle” on the neck-shoulder. The skin is covered with a mosaic pattern, giving a scale-like appearance.