Rhinoceroses are large, herbivorous mammals determined by their characteristic horned snouts. Words "rhinoceros" comes from the Greek "rhino" (nose) and "ceros" (horn). There are five types and 11 subspecies that rhino; some have actually two horns, while others have actually one.

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Because the animals" horns are provided in individual medicine for their an alleged healing properties, rhinos have actually been hunted virtually to extinction. Their horns are occasionally sold as trophies or decorations, but more often they space ground up and used in traditional Chinese medicine. The powder is often added to food or brewed in a tea in the id that the horns room a powerful aphrodisiac, a hangover cure and treatment for fever, rheumatism, gout and also other disorders, follow to the global Rhino Foundation.

preservation status

Save the Rhino estimates that there to be 500,000 rhinos throughout Africa and also Asia at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, the group says, there space 29,000 rhinos in the wild. Poaching and loss that habitat have actually put all rhino types in hazard of extinction.


A black color rhino carcass with the horn hacked off. (Image credit: Lowveld Trust.)

In 2009, four northern white rhinos were moved from a zoo in the Czech Republic come a exclusive conservancy in Kenya in the hope that they would certainly breed, according to the IUCN. ~ above Oct. 18, 2014, Ol Pejeta Conservancy announced that one of them, among the critical two breeding males, had died. That was not a victim of poaching, however, and also the conservancy to be investigating the cause of death. On march 20, 2018, the conservancy announced the death of the last male northern white rhino, Sudan.

There are currently only two northern white rhinos left in the world, both living in captivity, follow to the human being Wildlife Fund. The captive northern white rhinos are two females — Najin, Sudan"s daughter, and Fatu, Najin"s daughter — i beg your pardon live in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. The two females room incapable that a successful pregnancy: Najin is too old and issues through her legs make it difficult for her to assistance the weight of a mounting male; Fatu has a uterine condition that will likely keep she from breeding, according to experts.

With natural breeding attempts nixed for the northern white rhinos, conservationists have actually turned to in vitro fertilization. However, IVF in this rhinoceroses comes v its own set of challenges, consisting of figuring out just how to gain immature eggs to construct outside that the female"s human body and likewise how come inject sperm into these eggs.

As for the Sumatran rhinos, they are hanging on by a thread together well. Along with the Javan rhino, Sumatran rhinos room barely hanging ~ above in the wild. They go extinct in Vietnam in 2010 andin Malaysia in 2015, according to the international Rhino Foundation. Little populations that the subspecies survive in three national parks inSumatra. And in march 2016, conservationists recorded a live Sumatran rhinoceros in the Indonesian component of the island the Borneo for the very first time. Despite a camera-trap photo snapped in 2013 revealed Sumatran rhinos did make it through in this an ar called Kalimantan, the catch of the female marked the an initial time in 40 years that humans had actually physically contacted a live Sumatran rhino there.

Rhino horns

Rhino horns are made the keratin, which is also the key component of human hair and fingernails. Yet the horns are not just dense clumps that hair. CT scans have shown dense mineral shop of calcium and also melanin in the core of the horn. The calcium makes the horn stronger, and the melanin protects it from the sun"s UV rays, follow to researchers at Ohio University.

The horns are comparable to horse hooves, tortoise beaks and also cockatoo bills, stated Tobin Hieronymus, an OU doctoral student. Rhino horns often tend to curve backward, toward the head, because the keratin in prior grows quicker than the keratin in the back, Hieronymus called Live Science. The external of the horn is rather soft and can it is in worn down or sharpened after year of use, according to the mountain Diego Zoo. If a horn division off, it deserve to gradually flourish back.

Black rhinos, white rhinos and also Sumatran rhinos have two horns. Javan rhinos and also greater one-horned rhinos have one. Top top the black rhino, the former horn can prosper to 20 come 51 customs (51 to 130 centimeters), while the rear horn can thrive to about 20 inches, follow to the worldwide Rhino Foundation. A white rhino"s horns room slightly smaller, and a Sumatran rhinos horns are around 10 to 31 customs (25 to 79 cm) because that the front and less 보다 3 customs (7 cm) for the rear. The greater one-horned rhino"s horn is 8 come 24 customs (20 come 61 cm), and also Javan rhinos have a horn that is about 10 customs (25 cm) long.

How big are rhinos?

The largest rhino varieties is the white rhino, according to the san Diego Zoo. It grows to 12 come 13 feet (3.7 to 4 meters) long and also up come 6 feet (1.8 m) indigenous hoof to shoulder. The weighs approximately 5,000 lbs. (2,300 kilograms).

The smallest rhino types is the Sumatran rhino. It grows to 8 come 10 feet (2.5 to 3 m) long and also up come 4.8 feet (1.5 m) native hoof come shoulder. The Sumatran rhino weighs approximately 1,765 lbs. (800 kg).


White rhinos and also black rhinos live in the grasslands and also floodplains the eastern and also southern Africa. Better one-horned rhinos deserve to be uncovered in the swamps and also rain forests of northern India and southern Nepal. Sumatran and also Javan rhinos are uncovered only in tiny areas that Malaysian and Indonesian swamps and rain forests.

Rhinos spend their days and nights grazing and also only sleep throughout the hottest components of the day. During the rare times as soon as they aren"t eating, they can be found enjoying a cooling dirt soak. These soaks also assist to protect the animals from bugs, and also the mud is a organic sunblock, follow to nationwide Geographic.

Though rhinos are regularly solitary, they carry out occasionally type groups. Dubbed crashes, these teams are consisted of of a female and also her offspring. A dominant male rules over an area of land. The male will permit some sub-dominate males to live ~ above his territory. Females roam freely approximately several different territories.


Rhinoceroses space herbivores, which way they eat only vegetation. The kind of vegetation they eat different by species. This is due to the fact that their snouts are different shapes come accommodate different varieties of food, follow to national Geographic. Because that example, the black color rhino eats tree or bushes since its lengthy lips enable it to choose leaves and also fruit from up high. The white rhino has a flat-shaped snout that allows it gain closer to the ground because that eating grass.


Every two and a fifty percent to 5 years, a female rhino will reproduce. Female rhinos carry their young for a gestation period of 15 come 16 months. They usually only have actually one infant at a time, though they execute sometimes have twins. In ~ birth, infant rhinos, i beg your pardon are called calves, room still quite big, in ~ 88 to 140 lbs. (40 come 64 kg), according to the mountain Diego Zoo.

At approximately 3 year old, the calf will set out top top its own. A rhino can live approximately 45 years.

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According to the combined Taxonomic info System (ITIS), the taxonomy the rhinos is:

Kingdom: Animalia Subkingdom: Bilateria Infrakingdom: Deuterostomia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Infraphylum: Gnathostomata Superclass: Tetrapoda Class: Mammalia Subclass: Theria Infraclass: Eutheria Order: Perissodactyla Family: Rhinocerotidae Genera & species:

White rhinos: Ceratotherium simum (southern white rhinoceros), Ceratotherium cottoni (northern white rhinoceros). IUCN lists these together subspecies the Ceratotherium simum.Sumatran rhinos: Dicerorhinus sumatrensis (also called hairy rhino, oriental two-horned rhino). Subspecies: Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrisoni, Dicerorhinus sumatrensis lasiotis, Dicerorhinus sumatrensis sumatransisBlack rhinos: Diceros bicornis (black rhino).Subspecies: Diceros bicornis bicornis, Diceros bicornis brucii, Diceros bicornis chobiensis, Diceros bicornis ladoensis, Diceros bicornis longipes, Diceros bicornis michaeli, Diceros bicornis minor, Diceros bicornis occidentalisJavan rhinos: Rhinoceros unicornisGreater one-horned rhinos: Rhinoceros sondaicus (also dubbed Indian rhino). Subspecies: Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus, Rhinoceros sondaicus inermis, Rhinoceros sondaicus sondaicus

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