There is a lot of info to share about rhinos, and a lot of different types of rhinos. This week we're going to talk about some pretty general rhino information. Next week we're gong to focus a bit more on each type of rhino. So lets get started!
There are 5 species of rhinos. They are all endangered. Three of the five species are critically endangered.
There are 2 species of rhino in Africa, and 3 species in Asia.
A group of rhinos is called a 'crash'.
All rhinos have at least one horn, poor vision, great hearing, and like to roll in mud.
Rhinos can not see very well, but have an excellent sense of hearing and smell.
Rhinos can move their ears independently of each other.
Rhinos are nearsighted so they can be easily startled. One reason they seem so aggressive is because their response to being startled is to charge.
Rhinos get help from birds, like the ox-pecker. The birds help the rhinos sense danger and the birds eat the insects off of the rhinos. This a symbiotic relationship, one where both parties benefit.
Baby rhinos are born without horns.
The horn of the rhino is not attached to its skull. It is a mass of super compact hair that grows their whole life.
The rhino has no true natural predator, other than humans. Other predators do sometimes kill rhinos, but usually only the young.
Rhinos are hunted for their horns. People believe their horns have all kinds of diffrent medical properties. Rhino horn is made of keratin, the exact same substance that makes up your hair and fingernails.
Rhinos have very think skin. Their skin is tough but also very sensitive to sunburns and bites from insects. They use mud to help protect their skin.
Rhinos may be large, but they are also quite fast and agile. They can turn quickly and run up to 40 mph.
Rhinoceros is the combination of the Greek words for nose (rhino) and horn (ceros).
The closest relatives to the rhino are tapirs, horses and zebras. These animals are all considered odd toed ungulates.
Rhinos have been around for over 50 million years. They have changed some over the years, but not a whole lot. They used to be a lot woollier though.
For more rhinos facts about specific species check out our Wildlife Wednesday- Rhinos (Part 2)