Rhinoceros Species Overview
There are five identified species of the Rhinoceros. They live in areas of Asia and Africa. These are extremely large animals that have thick skin and that are known for their aggressive nature. There are significant differences in the physical appearance of the bodies of some of them. There are a few species that have front teeth but most of them only have them on the sides and the back.
You will also notice that some species of the Rhinoceros have two horns rather than just one. The prominent one is the one that they fight with and that grows to be very large. The second one is further back and it is more of a bump area than a long horn. The DNA of these animals shows that all of the species except the Black Rhinoceros have 84 chromosomes. That species though has 82.
The Rhinoceros is generally an isolated creature with the exception of when they are raising young. The White Rhinoceros is the exception to this as they are quite social with each other. These animals establish a territory that is their home range where they will go around and look for food. They can consume volumes of grass and plants every day that can be more than 100 pounds.
These animals have been on Earth for millions of years yet there is still a great deal that we don’t know about them. The Rhinoceros is difficult to explore due to their aggressive nature. They seem to do fairly well in captivity but the real studies that take place in the wild can be difficult.
Most people assume that the Rhinoceros is a quiet animal. When you see them in a zoo setting that may be the case. However, they use a variety of verbal sounds to communicate with each other. This has mainly been observed in their efforts in captivity and when they are caring for their young.
They use grunts, growls, and bellows to communicate with each other. They may be giving warnings of danger. Sometimes these warnings are also to establish rank and territory. The males will use sounds to attract females for mating. They must first battle with other males for that right though.
The female will carry the young for a period of time that ranges from 15 months to 16 months. The young are at least 88 pounds when they are born. Within an hour they are able to get up and walk around regardless of the species. They are well cared for and will stay with their mother for several years before finding their own territory.
They don’t have very good vision but they are able to make up for it with their senses of smell and hearing. They are considered to be the largest animals on land with the exception of the elephants. They are also considered to be one of the most feared and aggressive creatures out there.
Due to their size and aggressive nature the Rhinoceros species usually have few problems with predators. They sometimes have issues though with the big cats, wild dogs, and crocodiles. Humans are the biggest threat to them though and can cause them to become extinct if we aren’t careful. The amount of natural habitat that continues to be taken away from them is alarming.
Currently three of the five species of Rhinoceros are classified as being critically endangered. They include the Javan, Samatran, and the Black Rhinoceros. Collectively though these animals are in grave danger of extinction. They have been heavily hunted for their horns in their natural habitat. The fact that they are very aggressive has also resulted in some humans feeling the need to hunt them.