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About Rhinoceros:

  • Rhinoceros (from the Ancient Greek words for “nose” and “horn”) refers to any of the five extant species and numerous extinct species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae.
  • Rhinoceroses are known for their large size, herbivorous diet, and one or two horns made of keratin.
  • They have thick, protective skin formed from layers of collagen positioned in a lattice structure.

Key Species:

  • White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum): Two subspecies, Southern White Rhinoceros and Northern White Rhinoceros. Known for their broad, flat lips used for grazing.
  • Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis): Four subspecies, known for their pointed lips used to grasp leaves and twigs.
  • Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis): Single horn, known for its thick, silver-brown skin with an armored appearance.
  • Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus): One of the most endangered large mammals, with fewer than 60 individuals remaining.
  • Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis): The smallest extant rhinoceros species and the one with the most hair.

Conservation Status:

  • Most rhinoceros species are considered endangered due to poaching for their horns, which are highly valued in traditional medicine and as dagger handles in some cultures.
  • Conservation efforts include anti-poaching measures, habitat preservation, and breeding programs.


  • Rhinocerotoids diverged from other perissodactyls by the early Eocene. Modern rhinoceroses evolved in the late Eocene and diversified into various genera and species over time.

Threats and Conservation:

  • Rhinoceroses are primarily threatened by poaching and habitat loss.
  • Horns are sought after for traditional medicine, primarily in China and Vietnam, and for making dagger handles in Yemen.
  • Conservation measures include anti-poaching patrols, legal protection, and international efforts to curb the illegal horn trade.

Interesting Facts:

  • Rhinoceroses have small brains for their size, weighing between 400-600 grams.
  • They can live up to 40-50 years in the wild.
  • Rhinos have poor eyesight but excellent hearing and a keen sense of smell.

Official Links:

Rhinoceros (Wikipedia)

A rhinoceros (/rˈnɒsərəs/; from Ancient Greek ῥινόκερως (rhinókerōs) 'nose-horned'; from ῥίς (rhis) 'nose', and κέρας (kéras) 'horn'; pl.: rhinoceros or rhinoceroses), commonly abbreviated to rhino, is a member of any of the five extant species (or numerous extinct species) of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae; it can also refer to a member of any of the extinct species of the superfamily Rhinocerotoidea. Two of the extant species are native to Africa, and three to South and Southeast Asia.

Temporal range: Eocene–Present
Rhinoceros species of different genera; from top-left, clockwise: white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Superfamily: Rhinocerotoidea
Family: Rhinocerotidae
Owen, 1845
Type genus
Linnaeus, 1758
Extant and subfossil genera

Fossil genera, see text

Rhinoceros range

Rhinoceroses are some of the largest remaining megafauna: all weigh at least one tonne in adulthood. They have a herbivorous diet, small brains 400–600 g (14–21 oz) for mammals of their size, one or two horns, and a thick 1.5–5 cm (0.59–1.97 in), protective skin formed from layers of collagen positioned in a lattice structure. They generally eat leafy material, although their ability to ferment food in their hindgut allows them to subsist on more fibrous plant matter when necessary. Unlike other perissodactyls, the two African species of rhinoceros lack teeth at the front of their mouths; they rely instead on their lips to pluck food.

Rhinoceroses are killed by poachers for their horns, which are bought and sold on the black market for high prices, leading to most living rhinoceros species being considered endangered. The contemporary market for rhino horn is overwhelmingly driven by China and Vietnam, where it is bought by wealthy consumers to use in traditional Chinese medicine, among other uses. Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same material as hair and fingernails, and there is no good evidence of any health benefits. A market also exists for rhino horn dagger handles in Yemen, which was the major source of demand for rhino horn in the 1970s and 1980s.

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