AFRICAN RHINO FACTS


  • Rhinoceros are fifty million years old.  They used to have far more hair.
  • The name Rhinoceros means nose horn.  It is from the Greek word rhino (nose) and ceros         (horn). Rhinoceros is often shortened to Rhino.
  • There are two African Rhino species namely the White Rhinoceros and the Black Rhinoceros.
  • The White Rhinoceros is the second largest land mammal.
  • The Black Rhinoceros is critically endangered which means that they have a fifty percent chance      of becoming extinct within the next three generations.  
  •  Rhinoceros have thick, sensitive skins.  Their skins are sensitive to the sun and to insect bites.  Rhinoceros need to wallow in mud to coat their skins with mud to protect themselves from the    sun and insects bites.
  • Rhinoceros horn is made from a protein called keratin, keratin is the same substance that fingernails and hair are made of.
  • Rhinoceros are herbivores which means that they are plant eaters.  They need to eat a lot of plants in order to fill their large bodies.  
  • The collective noun for a group of Rhinoceros is a crash of Rhinoceros.
  •  Despite their name Black Rhinoceros are actually grey.
  •  The closest living relative of the Rhinoceros is a horse or a zebra.
  • Rhinoceros can run up to forty kilometers an hour, it is impossible for a man to outrun a Rhinoceros.
  •  Rhinoceros are pregnant for between fifteen and sixteen months.  Rhinoceros babies stay with  their mothers until they are three years old.
  • Rhinoceros have very poor eyesight but very well developed senses of smell and hearing.
  • Rhinoceros are good homes for Oxpeckers.  The Oxpecker bird is the bird commonly seen on Rhinoceros eating the ticks and insects off the Rhinoceros.  They are also good alarm systems as they make a noise whenever they sense danger.
  • Rhinoceros leave messages in their dung.  Each Rhinoceros smell is unique.  They also use their dung to mark their territory.
  •  White Rhinoceros live in family groups.  
  • Black Rhinoceros fight each other and have the highest rate of death among mammals in fights among the same species.   

photographs by Graeme Mitchley