(Latin Rhinocerotclassae) are large mammals, are members of the family of ungulates. A thick gray skin, on which there is practically no hair, covers the body from the outside. Legs are provided with three fingers, on which there are small hoofs. Only 5 species survived to our time.
The habitat of three of them is limited to the territory of Asia. Two more species – the white rhinoceros and the black rhinoceros – occupy the territory of West and Central Africa; they were divided five million years ago. The largest number of individuals belongs to Indian rhinoceroses. The famous rhino horn is represented by a layered formation of keratin.
The paleontological history of the rhino family is quite complicated. The ancestors of these animals were the running rhinoceros of America from the early-retrograde group, which are comparable to ancient horses. Their physique could be as light or heavy (rhinoceroses with short legs). Rhinoceroses of the modern species appeared in the Eocene, and already to the Oligocene were represented by a large number of genera and species. At that time rhinoceroses widely populated Eurasia.
Rhinoceroses are one of the largest land animals.
After elephants, they take second place in size. The body length of a rhinoceros can reach four meters (on average, three meters). And the weight is not so small: it fluctuates between two and four tons.
Rhinoceroses are on the verge of extinction.
Once the tribe of rhinos was very numerous. The remaining 5 species are now on the verge of extinction. For example, the Javan rhino now lives only on the island of Java, and even then the life of these individuals is under the strict control of people – in the reserve. And on the island of Sumatra live not a little, not a lot, but only about forty rhinoceroses.
Characteristic for a rhinoceros sign – the presence of a horn on the nose or forehead.
If there are two, the horn that is closer to the nose is larger. The size of the horn varies from very small (when it is represented by a small tubercle) and up to one meter. Everything depends on its use. For example, the height of the horn of Indian rhinos can reach 60 centimeters, African – meter.
Horn – the cause of the destruction of rhinoceroses.
Yes, yes! Excellent weapons also have medicinal properties – this was the case in the East. And although the medicine of Europe has scientifically proved the inconsistency of this judgment, the legend of its miraculous power continues to live in the minds of people, which forces them to prey. Medicines from rhinoceros horns are very much appreciated in traditional Chinese medicine – including are part of elixirs of longevity.
Black and white rhinoceros are color-coded.
No, it’s not. They are exactly the same in color. Where did these names come from? It is believed that the error was due to the fault of the British colonists. They misunderstood the Dutch word “wijd”, which was deciphered as “white”, although it meant “wide.” Thus, rhinoceroses with a wide mouth entered the form of white rhinoceroses. Black rhinoceroses were called rhinoceroses with a narrow mouth. This is the story.
Rhinoceroses are long-livers.
For example, in zoos, their life span reaches half a century.
Rhinoceroses are vegetarians.
The nutrient base of these animals is grass. Although Indian and black rhinoceros still slightly diversified their diet with leaves and branches. Very much they like to eat sprouts of acacias. And as they pull out the rhinoceroses of the acacia with the root, then a large number of these plants are exterminated.
It’s hard for a rhinoceros to get full.
For example, white rhinoceroses graze from the evening until dawn. Before sunrise, they quench their thirst in their favorite watering place. Sometimes, in order to find food, rhinos have to travel long distances within the sovereign territory used by these animals. On it rhinoceroses lay trails. There are mud baths on this square, which rhinos especially like on hot days.
Rhinoceroses have a bad memory.
This is due to their short-sightedness. It is because of her that these animals are literally tied to a certain territory.Therefore, it is difficult for them to settle independently, even if there are a lot of individuals in their habitat area.
Rhinoceroses have a remarkable ear.
They are capable of catching even the slightest rustling: the eaves of the ears are instantly turned towards the source of the sound.
Spring is the time for marriage between rhinoceroses.
Male rhinos even arrange fights – so they are fighting for the female, ready for mating. The calf is hatched by the female for a year and a half! Compared with the weight of an adult rhinoceros, the cubs are born completely crumbs. In Indian rhinoceroses, for example, their weight is only 60 kilograms. The day after the birth, a small rhinoceros can already follow the mother, weeks after two – independently graze. But for another year its main food base will be mother’s milk. With the mother, the baby lives about two and a half years. If suddenly in these years there will be another baby, the elder is expelled, if not forever, then for a while.
Rhinoceroses do not live together.
Only a female with a baby can stay close to each other. Between the male and the female, there is no long-term affection.
Rhinos have friends.
First, they are buffalo birds. The size of these birds, very widespread in Africa, is comparable to the size of the starling. They destroy the blood-sucking insects that have dug into the skin of rhinoceroses. Buffalo birds not only follow the rhinoceros persistently, but also warn the breadwinners about the impending danger. The second assistants are water turtles, living in local mud baths. Eating the aforementioned insects, they greatly facilitate the life of rhinoceroses. And these turtles are not afraid of such a huge rhinoceros – only he sinks into the tub, they immediately begin to work!
The rhinoceroses sleep very tightly.
At the same time, they forget about the possible danger. If desired, you can easily sneak up to a sleeping rhinoceros and, of course, stay unnoticed. The dream of rhinoceroses often falls on daytime, and active activity, respectively, on evening and night.
Different kinds of rhinoceroses have a different character.
For example, black rhinos are hot-tempered. In general, rhinoceroses are timid animals, they avoid closeness to man. If such a rhinoceros accidentally stumbles upon something and finds it something dangerous, then instantly rushes to meet. True, myopia does not allow them to make attacks clearly on purpose. But the sharp horn of these animals can easily lead to injuries. And it’s impossible to stop rhinos – at this weight they can accelerate to forty-five kilometers per hour! White rhinos are more peaceful character. And if at a young age to take them to the zoo, then they generally become tame, very fond of when they are caressed.