Rhinoceros have a lot of fascinating features about them from their odd-looking toes to their gigantic size. We’ve put together 15 interesting facts about this iconic creatures which you may not know of.
1.The Paraceratherium, a species of Rhinos that lived around 30 million years ago, was over 16 feet tall. However, rhinos became significantly smaller – the white Rhino measures up to 6 feet tall while the Sumatran Rhino measures can be as tall as 5 feet – due to evolution.
2. Of the five species of rhinos that exists today, Black Rhinoceros, Javan Rhinoceros and Sumatran Rhinoceros have been listed as critically endangered species by the IUCN .
3. The word ‘Crash’ is used to refer to a group of rhinos.
4. Rhinos make about 10 distinct sounds at different occasions. For instance, they honk when engaged in head-to head fights and bleat as a sign of submission.
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5. Just like a human’s hair and nails, a rhinos horn grows all through its lifetime. If a horn falls off, a new one grows in its place.
6. Interestingly, rhinos’ closest relatives include horses, zebras, and tapirs. They are part of a group of mammals called odd-toes ungulates.
7. As huge as rhinos are, they run quite fast at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
8. Rhinos have very poor eyesight but this compensates for their other senses – they can hear and smell form great distances.
9. Rhinos and Oxpeckers have a symbiotic relationship which has always fascinated scientists. While an oxpecker benefits from a rhino by perching on its back to eat ticks and insect, the rhino is alerted by the oxpecker when there is impending danger nearby. As a result, the oxpecker is called the ‘rhino’s guard’ in Swahili.
10. Rhinos can identify each other through their dung as each rhino’s dung has a unique smell. By examining their dung, one can also determine the age or sex of a rhino. Moreover, rhinos also mark their territory with their dung. What an interesting relationship rhinos have with their poop!
11. Male rhinos can spray their urine at distances of up to 16 feet. They do this in order to mark their territory and show dominance over other rhinos.
12. Black rhinos are notorious for having the highest death rates when it comes to fights among mammals. Around half of the males and 30 percent of the females die due to these fights.
13.The rhino’s horn and a human’s fingernail are made up of the same protein called Keratin.
14. Their feet are very sensitive. As a result, they try walking on their toe nails to prevent their feet form wearing out.
15. Female rhinos stay pregnant for duration of 15-16 months.
What other fascinating facts do you know about rhinos? Tell us in the comment section below.