Scientific classificationKingdom:AnimaliaPhylum:ChordataClass:MammaliaOrder:PerissodactylaFamily:RhinocerotidaeGray, 1821Extant Genera

CeratotheriumDicerorhinusDicerosRhinocerosExtinct genera, see text

The rhinoceros (plural rhinoceros, rhinoceroses, or rhinoceri) or rhino is any type of of the odd-toed ungulates (order Perissodactyla) consisting of the biological family Rhinocerotidae.

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over there are five surviving species, two of i beg your pardon are native to Africa and three to southerly Asia. This mammals space all large, thick-skinned herbivores and also have either one or 2 horns (actually more thick matted hair) top top the upper snout.

Despite adding to the person fascination through nature, in the twenty century the rhinoceros has actually been hunted to the brink that extinction, frequently sought through hunters only for your horn. Four of the five species are either endangered or critically endangered. Just the white rhinoceros, which is noted as near-threatened, is no much longer endangered. There space only around 60 individuals left of the Javan rhinoceros.


In the odd-toed ungulates, making up the order Perissodactyla, the main axis the the foot passes with the 3rd toe. In rhinoceroses, the an initial and 5th toes space lost and also the pet walks ~ above the remaining three toes. In horses, just the third toe remains and supports the entirety weight the the animal. Tapirs have four toes on their front feet and three on your hind feet.

The odd-toed ungulates emerged in what is now North America throughout the late Paleocene, less than 10 million year after the dinosaurs died out. By the begin of the Eocene (55 million years ago), they had diversified and spread out to occupy several continents. The horses and tapirs both progressed in phibìc America; the rhinoceroses show up to have emerged in Asia from tapir-like animals and then infect the Americas during the center Eocene (about 45 million year ago).


The family members Rhinocerotidae is defined by big size (one of the couple of remaining megafauna, pets whose average adult weight exceed 100 pounds or 44 kg, surviving today) with every one of the varieties capable of reaching one ton or more in weight. The largest known perissodactyl in the fossil record, an asian rhinoceros referred to as Paraceratherium, reached 11,000 kg (12 tons), more than double the weight of one elephant.

The surviving species of rhinoceros have a thick protective skin, 1.5-5 centimeters thick, formed from class of collagen positioned in a lattice structure. Rhinos have an elongate skull, which is elevated posteriorly and also a reasonably small braincase for mammals this size (400-600g).

Rhinoceros have actually one or 2 projections on the top snout. These "horns" are not yes, really true horns, however are epidermal derivatives, written of a solid mass of thickly matted hair—keratin, a hair protein—that grow from the skull without skeletal support.

The nasal bones task forward freely and may extend beyond and above the premaxillae. The surface of the nasals whereby the horns sit is roughened. There is a strongly developed occipital crest. Rhinos have 24-34 teeth, largely premolars and molars for grinding (dental formula 1-2/0-1, 0/1-1, 3-4/3-4, 3/3). The canines and incisors are vestigial other than for the lower incisors in eastern rhinos, which are occurred into an effective slashing tusks.

Rhinoceros space herbivorous. They have acute listening and terrific sense that smell, but bad eyesight over any kind of distance. Many rhinoceros live to be about 50 year old or more. The collective noun because that a group of rhinoceros is "crash."

The African and the eastern rhinoceros have some distinct characteristics. Morphologically, one evident difference is that both afri varieties have two horns in tandem if the Sumatran rhino has two horns, yet one generally is a stub, and the other two Asian varieties have a single horn. Behaviorally, it has actually been uncovered that african rhinos are much more aggressive than oriental rhinos. Afri rhinos fight v their horns, making use of them come impale and also throw their adversaries, while the oriental rhino fights with their bottom teeth, utilizing them in a slashing motion. Your feeding behavior vary as well. Afri rhinos feed short to the ground, vice versa, the eastern rhino browses on pipeline that are higher up.

However, the two groups have a lot of of behavioral similarities. Both African and Asian rhinos are more active in the evening, night, and early morning, while spending the hot day time relaxing in the shade. Both teams are herbivores and feed mainly on grass or branches; relying on the species, some might eat much more grass 보다 branches. Both African and Asian rhinos sleep in both standing and laying positions and also both enjoy wallowing in muddy pools and sandy riverbeds.

The native "rhinoceros" is derived from the Greek native rhino, definition nose, and also keras, an interpretation horn; thus "horn-nosed."

White rhinoceros


The white rhinoceros, or square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), is one of the five species of rhinoceros the still exist. ~ the elephant, it is more than likely the most massive remaining land animal in the world, together with the Indian rhinoceros, i m sorry is of similar size. That is famous for its large mouth used for grazing and also for gift the many social of all rhino species. The white rhino is the most usual of all rhinos and also consists of two subspecies, through the north subspecies gift rarer 보다 the southern. The northern subspecies may have actually as couple of as 50 specimens continuing to be worldwide.

The name white rhino originated in southern Africa wherein the Afrikaans language occurred from the netherlands language. The Afrikaans native "wyd" (derived native the netherlands word "wijd"), which means "wide," described the width of the rhinoceros" mouth. At an early stage English inhabitants in southern Africa misinterpreted the "wyd" because that "white." so the rhino with the vast mouth became called the white rhino and the one v the narrow pointed mouth was called the black rhinoceros. The broad mouth was adjusted to cropping big swaths of grass, while the small mouth was adjusted to eating pipeline on bushes.

A white rhino"s skin shade is quite comparable to that of the black color rhino. An alternate common name for the white rhinoceros, more accurate yet rarely used, is the square-lipped rhinoceros. The white rhinoceros" genus, Ceratotherium, appropriately means "horned beast."

Unlike the other species of rhinoceros, the white rhino is a much more social animal, developing groups quite than gift solitary. A common group consists of mother and offspring. However, larger groups, including several subadults as well as one or an ext adult females, additionally are formed. Subadults virtually always type groups v one or an ext subadults of comparable age, that the exact same or the contrary sex, or with an adult female lacking a calf. Adult males are solitary, other than when accompanying females.

The gestation duration of the rhino is 16 months and also the calf is born weighing about 65 kilograms (145 pounds). Usually the cow come into heat while suckling a calf and once the new calf is born the enlarge one, having actually been weaned, is driven away.

By 2000, more than 10,000 white rhinos existed in the wild. However, as result of the worth of their horns and how simple it is to hunt them, this number is dwindling and also the white rhino"s populace is decreasing. The is noted as near Threatened through IUCN.

Black rhinoceros


The black rhinoceros, Diceros bicornis, additionally colloquially black rhino, is native to the eastern and main areas that Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, south Africa, Namibia, and also Zimbabwe.

Although the rhino is referred to as "black," it is actually an ext of a gray-white color in appearance. The surname of the varieties was liked to identify it native the white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum). This is very misleading, as those two types are no really distinguishable by color. As noted above, the word "white" in the name "white rhinoceros" is derived from the Afrikaans word because that "wide" rather than because that the color white.

Unlike the white rhino, the black color rhino is a solitary animal rarely forming groups. A female and also her offspring are the normal group, whereas, males are mostly solitary other than when courting a female. Once male adult black color rhinos satisfy they regularly perform a facility ceremony including stiff-legged scraping, imposing postures, and short charges occasionally accompanied by screaming groans. The male rhinos, or bulls, additionally mark your territory. They perform so by dragging their legs, spraying neighboring bushes with urine, and also creating dung heaps.

Similar to the white rhinoceros, black color rhinoceros cows enter heat throughout the african wet season and also therefore provide birth to their calves in late summer. Gestation lasts for 15 months and the calf is born weighing 20-25 kilograms (9-11 pounds). Calves leaving their mom when her following offspring room born and also often form groups with other calves your age.

The world Conservation Union (IUCN) announced on July 7, 2006, that among the four subspecies, the West African black color Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis longipes), has actually been tentatively claimed as extinct.

Sumatran rhinoceros

The Sumatran rhinoceros, Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, is the the smallest extant rhinoceros species, and the one through the most fur. Because of habitat loss and also poaching, the numbers have actually declined and also it is one of the world"s rarest mammals. The Sumatran rhinoceros is the last surviving varieties in the same team as the die out woolly rhinoceros.

The Sumatran rhinoceros" thick fur not only helps it survive in the high altitudes of Sumatra and also Borneo however it enables a an extremely thick coat of dirt to stick come the rhino and prevent insect bites and also thorns.

Formerly, the Sumatran rhinoceros extended in a constant distribution as far north as Myanmar and eastern India but poaching has actually made the extinct in Thailand and also Vietnam. It has not been watched in Cambodia, Laos, or Myanmar for numerous years. Now, they are mainly uncovered only in Sumatra and also Borneo.

The adjustment of the Sumatran rhino is an extremely aggressive. Gestation big 475 days, with the calf"s load at birth being about 33 kilograms (14 pounds). In ~ 16-17 month of age, the calf is ready to leaving his mother. She will move ago to the non-breeding range and the calf will remain close come the salt lick (a naturally arising salt deposit that pets lick to acquire minerals castle need).

Poaching and encroachment stay a big threat to the Sumatran rhinos and also they space currently provided as Critically intimidated by the IUCN.

One-horned rhinoceroses

The members the the genus Rhinoceros are the one-horned rhinoceroses. The genus contains two species: The Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) and the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus). The Javan rhinoceros is one of the many endangered large mammals in the civilization with just 60 individuals surviving, in only two recognized locations: Java (Indonesia) and Vietnam.

The one-horned rhinoceros is a solitary animal; however they often tend to congregate in shower pools and feeding areas. The one-horned rhino males room aggressive and also are known to challenge other males for dominance. Submissive males might share the home range of a leading male, however unlike the dominant male they perform not squirt-urinate, and also they run away if challenged. Indian rhinos, or one-horned rhinos, are very vocal animals and produce a variety of sounds.

The mrs one-horned rhino ensures she choose the strongest bull as a girlfriend by making a series of rhythmical whistling sounds and also running extremely fast. The bull that can catch her will typically be the the strongest bull in the area.

Gestation lasts roughly 16 months and also the birth load of the calf is 65-70 kilograms (140-150 pounds). The calf continues to live and also nurse through the mommy until 2 year of age and also will be pushed off 1-2 weeks before the birth of the following calf.

The Indian rhinoceros is detailed as intimidated by the IUCN. The surviving populace totals at around 2,400. Yet it seems to be boosting as the rhinos have actually been relocated to establish brand-new populations at brand-new parks in Nepal and also India.

Rhinoceros horns


The most apparent distinguishing characteristic of the rhinos is a huge horn above the nose. Rhinoceros horns, unlike those of other horned mammals, consist just of keratin, fibrous structural proteins, and also lacks a bony core, such together bovine horns. Yet it has been discovered by scientists at Ohio college that the rhinoceros horn actually has calcium and melanin deposits. They think that the calcium is what offers the main point its hardness and also the melanin protects it from the sun. Rhinoceros horns are used in traditional asian medicine and also for dagger handle in Yemen and also Oman.

One recurring fallacy is that rhinoceros horn in powdered kind is supplied as one aphrodisiac in classic Chinese medicine (TCM). The is, in fact, prescribed because that life-threatening fevers and also convulsions and has to be clinically presented to have actually fever-reducing nature (Bensky et al. 2004). Substantial review of rhinoceros horn in TCM Materia Medica mirrors no aphrodisiac use and the source of the fallacy is no clear uneven it was a supposition based upon the kind when sources were more daunting to discover in English (Parry-Jones and Vincent 1998). China has actually signed the CITES treaty. However, to stop poaching, in certain areas rhinoceroses have actually been tranquilized and also their horns removed.



There room a number of legends around rhinoceroses stamping out fire. The story appears to have actually been usual in Malaysia, India, and also Burma. This kind of rhinoceros even had a special name in Malay, badak api, where badak method rhinoceros and also api method fire. The animal would come as soon as a fire is lit in the forest and stamp that out. Even if it is or not there is any kind of truth to this has actually not however been proven, together there has actually been no documented sighting the this phenomenon in current history. It may be false or the absence of proof may stem native the reality that rhinoceros sightings overall in south east Asia have actually become an extremely rare, largely due to widespread poaching that the critically threatened animal.


A rhinoceros portrayed on a roman mosaic in Villa Romana del Casale, an archeological site near Piazza Armerina in Sicily, Italy

Several rhinoceros varieties became extinct within geologically current times, significantly the large Unicorn and the Woolly Rhinoceros in Eurasia. The extent to which climate change or human being predation to be responsible is debated. Present evidence suggests that castle probably had survived plenty of climate alters before modern humans arrived.

Rhinoceros-like animals very first appeared in the Eocene as fairly slender animals, and also by the so late Miocene over there were plenty of species. Many were large. Rhinos in phibìc America ended up being locally extinct during the Pliocene, and also in north Asia and Europe throughout the Pleistocene.

The five living varieties fall into three categories. The critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros is the just surviving representative of the many primitive group, the Dicerorhinini, which arised in the Miocene (about 20 million year ago) (Rabinowitz 1995). The extinction woolly rhinoceros of northern Europe and also Asia was additionally a member of this tribe. There are two life Rhinocerotini species, the endangered Indian rhinoceros and the critically threatened Javan rhinoceros, which diverged from one another around 10 million year ago. The two African species, the white rhinoceros and the black color rhinoceros, diverged throughout the at an early stage Pliocene (about 5 million years ago) yet the Dicerotini group to which lock belong source in the middle Miocene, about 14 million year ago.

Family RhinocerotidaeSubfamily RhinocerotinaeTribe AceratheriiniAceratherium (extinct)Acerorhinus (extinct)Alicornops (extinct)Aphelops (extinct)Chilotheridium (extinct)Chilotherium (extinct)Dromoceratherium (extinct)Floridaceras (extinct)Hoploaceratherium (extinct)Mesaceratherium (extinct)Peraceras (extinct)Plesiaceratherium (extinct)Proaceratherium (extinct)Sinorhinus (extinct)Subchilotherium (extinct)Tribe TeleoceratiniAprotodon (extinct)Brachydiceratherium (extinct)Brachypodella (extinct)Brachypotherium (extinct)Diaceratherium (extinct)Prosantorhinus (extinct)Shennongtherium (extinct)Teleoceras (extinct)Tribe RhinocerotiniGaindatherium (extinct)Tribe DicerorhininiDicerorhinus—Sumatran RhinocerosDihoplus (extinct)Lartetotherium (extinct)Stephanorhinus (extinct)Tribe CeratotheriiniCeratotherium—White RhinocerosTribe DicerotiniDiceros - black RhinocerosParadiceros (extinct)Subfamily ElasmotheriinaeGulfoceras (extinct)Tribe DiceratheriiniDiceratherium (extinct)Subhyracodon (extinct)Tribe ElasmotheriiniBugtirhinus (extinct)Caementodon (extinct)Elasmotherium—Giant Unicorn (extinct)Hispanotherium (extinct)Huaqingtherium (extinct)Iranotherium (extinct)Kenyatherium (extinct)Menoceras (extinct)Ougandatherium (extinct)Parelasmotherium (extinct)Procoelodonta (extinct)Sinotherium (extinct)


Laufer, B. 1914. Background of the rhinoceros. In Chinese Clay Figures, part I: Prolegomena on the history of Defence Armor. Ar Museum of natural History, Chicago.

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