What is Rhino? Are White Rhino Extinct?

northern white rhino | white rhino

Rhinoceroses are the second-largest land animal that was once found in southern East Asia. Their horned snout identifies these species. The word rhinoceros came from the Greek word ‘rhino’ (nose) and ‘ceros’ (horn). Rhinos are herbivorous mammals, identified by their distinctive horned snout.

Types of Rhino:

There are five different species and 11 subspecies of rhino-

  1. White rhino
  2. Black rhino
  3. Indian rhino
  4. Javan rhino
  5. Sumatran rhino

White Rhino: Scientifically Named (Ceratotherium simum)

The white rhino is the most abundant species among all the other; these are native to Africa. The white rhino can weigh up to 3,168 – 7,920 pounds. These largest species can grow to a length of 12 to 13 feet. White rhinos are mostly habited in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, and Zimbabwe countries, and prefer to live in the grasslands and Savana’s. White rhino feeds on grasses and plants, but they prefer to eat small and fresh grass.

white rhino facts:

  • A single white rhino can eat 120 pounds per day. These species have two horns that grow from their nose; the first horn is longer than the other.
  • The length of the horns of white rhinos is 59 inches.
  • The snout of white rhino distinguishes it from other rhino species; it has a sharp squared shape.
  • White rhinos are hunted for their horns, which consists of keratin, which can be used as medicine.
  • Though these species are easy to kill because of their poor eyesight and less aggression in nature.
  • Rhinos are solitary, but female white rhino prefer to live in a group, the group of rhino is called ‘crashes’ or ‘herds.’
  • A female white rhino can give birth to a single large calf that weighs around 143 pounds at the time of delivery.
  • The reproduction lasts to 16 months. These species are listed as near threatened according to the IUCN list. The population of white rhinos is estimated at 20,000 to 22,000. 

Black Rhino: Scientifically Called as (Diceros bicornis)

The black rhino is also called hook lipped; these species are inherited to the different areas of Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Namibia. They prefer to live in regions with access to water and abundant vegetation. Black rhinos can reach a length of 12.3 feet and can weigh between 900 to 1400 pounds. The skin color of these species is grey, they have a thick skin layer, but it is sensitive to sunburn.

Black Rhino Facts:

  • These species live on a vegetarian diet, which consists mainly of fruits, leaves, and bushes.
  • Black rhinos are selective feeders and prefer to eat the food of the best quality; they can eat up to 200 species of plants.
  • Unlike white rhinos, black rhinos also have two horns, but they have different lip shapes.
  • The two horns’ length of these species is 51 inches. The lips of these species have a pointed upper lip.
  • Black rhinos can mate throughout the year; the gestation lasts for 15 months. Black rhinos are aggressive; they can reach at the speed of 34 mph when assaulted.
  • Black rhinos are poached for their horns, which have medicinal benefits, sometimes they are hunted as a symbol of status and wealth.
  • These species are declared as critically endangered species. The remaining population of black rhino is nearly 5,500.

Indian Rhino: Scientifically Known As (rhinoceros unicornis)

The Indian rhino is the second-largest rhinoceros species after the white rhino. These species are native to the parts of India and Nepal. Indian rhinos can stand to the length of 6.6 feet and can weigh 6,600 pounds. They prefer to inhabit the swamps, forests and floodplain grasslands. Indian rhinoceros have a brownish-grey skin color with folds that creates that image like a shield.

Indian Rhino Facts:

  • Indian rhinos are also called as great one-horned rhinoceros because they have only one horn that can reach a length of 22.5 inches.
  • As rhinos are herbivorous, these species feed on fruits, leaves, aquatic grass, and various crops.
  • The incubation lasts 15 to 16 months and ends with a single baby calf. Indian rhinos are also aggressive and often fight till death.
  • They are hunted for their horns but are classified as vulnerable.
  • The estimated population of the Indian rhinos is 3,300 to 3,600.

Javan Rhino: Scientifically Known as (rhinoceros sondaicus)

Today Javan rhino is limited to the Ujung Kulan National park in Indonesia. The length of the Javan rhinos stretches up to 10.5 feet and weighs between 2000 to 5000 pounds. Both the species have a single horn, though female Javan sometimes lacks horn or have a small bump on their snout. However, the length of their horn can reach 11 inches. The diet of the Javan rhinos consists of shrubs, bushes, and saplings. The gestation of a female Javan rhino lasts for 15 to 16 months. The international rhino foundation estimated the population of these species as 72 individuals. Habitat loss is the greatest threat to the Javan rhinos. The IUCN listed Javan rhino as a critically endangered species.

Sumatran Rhino: Scientifically Known as (dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Sumatran rhinos are the smallest species of the rhino; they are now inherited to the Borneo and Sumatran sites of Indonesia. Sumatran rhinos once habited in the regions of southeast Asia. These species prefer to live in the tropical dense forest areas with ample food resources. The skin color of Sumatran rhinos is reddish-brown and has two horns that are grey to black. The front horn is the larger one with a length of 15 to 25 cm. Sumatran rhinos weigh between 1100 to 1700 pounds. Sumatran rhinos are critically endangered species with a population of only 72. 

Last Male White Rhino:

The name of the last male white rhino was ‘sudan,’ who died at the age of 45, in the zoo of Kenya. The rhino suffered from various health issues and a series of infections. The vets were forced to euthanize him looking to his condition.