The peculiar rhinoceroses are enormous and stocky wild animals; they are differentiated by their characteristic and unique horn in their muzzle, which, depending on their species, can be only one or even two horns of different sizes. Also, the rhinoceros is one of the largest land animals on the planet.
Characteristics of Rhinoceroses
His physical appearance begins with his mainly gray skin color; accompanied by his enormous and stocky body, which is fully developed from his powerful muscles. There are 5 types of species of these wild forest animals, which are scattered throughout the land.
It has small ears and eyes, so it should be noted that his vision is not so good; however, this does not make him a weak animal, but quite the opposite, he uses his best attributes to intimidate his enemies.
The trait that most identifies them
As its main feature, it is worth mentioning its powerful horn that is composed of keratin, which also human beings possess, but in the case of this animal, has, according to scientific studies, healing properties. Besides, he has a great sense of smell that he uses together with his ear to be able to survive more efficiently and to identify any danger that is coming.
Wild habitat of this animal
Rhinoceroses are animals that are characterized by living in forests, and it is their ideal place because they need herbs, water, and plants to survive.
However, because the human population has invaded most of the territories where they live, rhinos have found it necessary to go to other places where they can also find food.
It is a solitary animal and prefers to be away from other animals, including those of the same species. The rhinoceros is a species that in some areas, such as Africa, is considered an emblem and symbol of the nation.
The different habitats of these animals also depend on the type of rhinoceros it refers to. Both the white rhino and the black rhino live in the savannahs and can be found in plains or forests as well as in dry and hot areas.
The Indian rhinoceros lives on tall grass very close to rivers, and the Java rhinoceros lives in tropical rainforest areas.
These wild animals are herbivores; this means that they feed exclusively on plants, herbs, fruits and some roots. The jaw is adapted to eat only this type of food because if they eat other types, they can hurt you and cannot digest them, which would cause an obstruction and as a result, they would die.
Instead of digesting food quickly, much of it remains in the intestine, where it is then fermented, and as a result, they get more fiber and other essential nutrients that give their massive bodies what they need to survive.
These animals, which live near water, drink daily or at least every other day. Without hydration, they can die, so they never venture too far from the areas where they can get the water they need. The time they can go without drinking water is five days.
How do they find the food?
Because of their lack of good eyesight, they rely heavily on their sense of smell to find food. The primary source of food will depend on the region and rhinoceros species; some prefer herbs, while others are more interested in leaves and plants.
They look for food, do so at night and may spend several hours exploring new food sources.
When do they eat?
They eat at ease in the early hours of the morning, when it is still fresh and often, is when they also take advantage to go in search of water to drink, since they live in regions with extremely high temperatures during the day.
They eat at a slow pace because as adults, they are not at risk of predators and can, therefore, feed without being disturbed.
How much food do they eat daily?
Depending on their size, they will eat an amount of 60 to 80 kilograms of food per day.
Rhinoceros Breeding Feeding
Rhinoceros puppies make the most of their mother’s milk, which they consume during the first year of life, while at the same time feeding on plants and herbs. Generally, they start eating these foods when they are a week old, and as they age, they consume more vegetables and less milk until they are completely weaned.
Form of reproduction
Rhinoceroses, in this case, males, can reproduce between 7 and 10 years of age, and in the case of females, can reproduce between 4 and 7 years of age. Since they are loners, they only look for the female to mate.
In the case of the male rhinoceros, they are very aggressive, which causes the females to reject them; and usually when that happens, confrontations and fights between the two begin because the male does not like and does not accept the rejection of the female; therefore, they do not leave without achieving their goal.
Gestation takes approximately 14 to 18 months of development for the baby rhinoceros to grow and be usually born fully; this is one of the most prolonged lapses among land animals.
Although it is a wild animal, the female is very affectionate with her calf; it can even take up to 3 years in which the calf is always with its mother, and until the calf does not leave, the mother does not reproduce again.
Because of their physical appearance and their unique horn, hunters have them at the top of their list, as they hunt them mainly to sell their horns; however, crocodiles are also their predators, especially when they go to drink water is when they attack them.
The lions and tigers also hunt them when they have the chance, but their target is mainly offspring, as they are more helpless.
Curious facts about Rhinoceroses
Something exciting and very unusual in other animals is that the rhinoceros can sleep both standing and lying down, without any problem. Another curiosity of rhinoceroses is that, although their skin is thick, it is also susceptible; and the bites of various insects, as well as much sun, significantly affect their delicate skin.
It is worth mentioning that the rhinoceros is excessively territorial; and the way it defends its territory is by watering its urine and feces everywhere, making it very clear to its fellow species that only that portion of land belongs to it.
There are currently five identified races of rhinos living in parts of Asia and Africa. There are significant differences in physical appearance and anatomy between the different types, as some species have front teeth, but most only have them on the sides and back of the mouth.
You will notice that some rhinoceros species have two horns instead of one. The largest is the one they fight and can grow up to 1.5 meters long.
The DNA of these animals shows us that all species, except the Black Rhinoceros, have 82 chromosomes, this particular species has 84.
Anatomy of the Great Rhinoceroses
There is no denying the large size of the anatomy of the rhinoceros, weighing more than 1 ton, when fully developed. However, depending on the species and location, the animal may weigh twice as much.
They have a body covered with a thick skin that protects it from the dangers of its natural habitat. However, they are susceptible to sunburn and insect bites, so they are in shaded areas during the day.
The Indian rhinoceros has folded in its body, similar in appearance to an armor, which offers it more protection and makes it less vulnerable to sunlight than other rhinoceros species.
- Rhinoceroses have hair, but you will not see them unless you look at them closely. The Sumatran rhinoceros has more hair than the others, due to the place where they live.
- They can vary in size, from 3 and a half feet to 6 ½ feet high, one might think that, with such a vast body are slow animals, yet can run up to 48 km/h in short distances. They can attack at that speed, so they pose a considerable risk to humans, other animals, and even other rhinos.
- Their legs are short but powerful. These animals also have perfect balance, which is strange for such a massive creature, and in general, their anatomy works very well for them.
- They also have a horn in the center of their forehead; some species have two horns instead of just one; this horn has no bone structure and is made of keratin.
- Rhinoceroses have sharp teeth in the front of their mouths that allow them to break the food they eat, and they also have flat molars on the sides and back, where they chew the food, although, African rhinoceros species, do not have teeth in the front of their mouths. They have a huge head, small ears, and a great sense of smell and hearing, but lack good vision.
- At the back of the neck, they have a large hump, which becomes more significant as they grow. This hump has ligaments that help support the animal’s enormous head. Some species, such as the white rhino, have this hump much more massive than other species.
The anatomy of a rhinoceros is designed to help them survive in nature. There is no doubt that its size, combined with its power, has been the driving force in its ability to survive for millions of years. There is information indicating that they have changed the size and discarded large amounts of their fur through the process of evolution to become the animals we see today.
The fact that they have no natural predators should mean that they are safe in their natural habitat. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all, as humans have destroyed them and continue to do so, in massive quantities.
Humans kill the adult rhinoceros by their horns; they also occupy areas of the animal’s natural habitat, making it very difficult for them to find enough food and water to survive.
The International Rhinoceros Foundation is a crucial organization for the conservation of these animals. The exchange of information about the disappearance of this animal is one of the ways that help people be interested in its future, and the passing of laws that reduce the destruction of these habitats is also significant.
Estimates show that only about 14,000 individuals remain in the wild, and most of those that remain belong to the white rhinoceros species. This means that others are in grave danger of extinction if we do not do everything possible to protect their natural environment.