Table of contents:
- Looks like
- What do they eat and where are they found
- Starting a family
- Rhino enemies in the wild
- How long does a rhino live?
Rhinos are odd-toed hoofed mammals, representatives of the most ancient superfamily Rhinos. It now includes two already extinct and one existing family, consisting of five species.
We know the largest white Rhinoceros, as well as the Indian, Sumatran, Javanese, and Black species.
The article provides a description of the rhinoceros and interesting facts about this animal.
The rhinoceros has a massive constitution - it has a powerful body (in terms of size among land animals, the second after the elephant) and short strong limbs ending in three fingers with hooves.
The body length of modern species varies depending on the species from 2 (in Sumatran) to 4.2 meters. How much does a rhinoceros weigh? The body weight of this animal is also impressive - from the "most modest" of 1 ton to more than 4 tons in male white rhinoceros.
A distinctive feature of these animals, of course, is the presence of small horny processes on the muzzle - one or two. In the latter case, the second horn does not grow out of the nasal bone,and from the forehead. It is interesting that the ancestors of these animals, now extinct rhinos, judging by their fossil remains, did without it at all.
Special mention deserves the rhinoceros skin, which is distinguished by the absence of hair (except for the Sumatran rhinoceros) and special thickness - here the animal has become a champion among other mammals. On rhinoceros flanks, for example, the skin reaches a thickness of 2.5 centimeters. Such clothes perfectly protect the body not only in the heat, but also in the cold. Once upon a time, it was very useful to the tundra rhinos of the Ice Age.
Besides, the animal has so much of this very skin that it forms a large number of folds. These peculiar armor additionally protect the animal, but, as always, the plus is followed by a minus: it is these folds that skin parasites settle in, and it is from there that they are most difficult to remove.
Skin color is slightly different for different species - although in reality the names both "white" and "black" for a rhinoceros are conditional, since their skin is a gray-slate color, only slightly lighter or darker. Rhinos love mud baths, so generally speaking, the color of a rhino is the color of the ground they walk on.
What do they eat and where are they found
These animals are herbivores. They eat about 72 kg of plant food per day. However, there are slight differences in preferences - if the white rhinoceros, living in the North and South African savannahs, feeds mainly on grasses, then the black one, grazing in the western regions of Africa,prefers to pick leaves from trees and shrubs.
Javanese rhinos are found in western Java and Vietnam, but their population is estimated at only 60 individuals. In India and Nepal, there is an Indian rhinoceros, which maintains its numbers due to the fact that it lives in strictly protected protected areas.
Most often, rhinoceroses inhabit each of their specific areas, but sometimes, especially in the savannas, they graze in small herds.
Starting a family
A male becomes sexually mature only with the onset of the seventh year of birth. But rhinos have great difficulties with marriage - since he can create a couple only if he finds his own plot that will feed him. The young husband must still be able to defend this territory from the encroachments of other rhinos concerned about the "housing" issue. According to the observations of zoologists, this usually takes another couple of years of life, or even more.
Before mating, male rhinoceros fights, after which the determined pairs of newlyweds chase each other across their territory. Animals in the heat of love often fight.
The female bears a cub for a year and a half. The weight of a newborn hippo can reach 25 kg (for white rhinos) and 60 (for blacks). The baby is born into the world and after a few minutes he gets on his feet, the next day he follows his mother everywhere, and after two or three months he begins to master the usual rhinoceros diet. However, mother's milk throughout the first year of lifethe baby is his main food, and near the female he remains for more than two years. Even if, in view of the new baby, the grown-up child is expelled by the mother, he does not go far, every now and then trying to return.
Rhino enemies in the wild
Feast on the meat of this representative of the fauna, and especially their cubs, are many among predators. But the rhinoceros has reliable natural defenses - a massive body, a strong skin and, of course, a horn (or horns). Moreover, defending themselves and protecting their cubs, these equids act not only with the horn process on the forehead, but also with the fangs of the lower jaw. So, in a fight with a black Indian rhinoceros, even a tiger has little chance of winning. And not only the male, but also the female will cope with the predator. Therefore, even the most dangerous felines, as a rule, cannot affect how long a rhinoceros lives.
These are cautious and even seemingly timid animals, leading a predominantly nocturnal lifestyle. The rhinoceros has poor eyesight, but excellent sense of smell and hearing. Realizing that there is danger ahead, this giant will not run away, he will go ahead, bowing his head and threateningly sticking out his horn. Having accelerated, the animal is able to gain speed up to 40-45 kilometers per hour, and, given its weight, there is hardly a living creature capable of withstanding such a blow.
Rhinos in their natural habitat are very annoyed by small blood-sucking creatures - lice, ticks, various types of flies. To get rid of them clumsy giants help buffaloes or other types of birds, which are constantlyaccompany the herd, pecking flying and crawling fry directly from the rhinoceros skin. Nevertheless, the life expectancy of a rhino in its natural habitat is also affected by skin parasites - they can cause illness and weakness in some individuals.
But the main and most dangerous enemy of the rhinoceros is, of course, the person who destroys it, extracting meat, skin and especially horny processes. The latter are believed to contain a healing substance that supposedly promotes healing from all diseases and even immortality. True, modern science has long proved the unjustifiedness of these data, which, however, did not lead to a decrease in demand for horns.
In addition, there are also conservation measures in the world with bans and restrictions on hunting, which positively affects the factors affecting the question of how long a rhinoceros lives. However, it must be admitted that the number of rhinos (with rare exceptions) continues to decline.
How long does a rhino live?
In the wild, the animal is unlikely to last 40-45 years (Sumatra and even less), while in zoos rhinos live up to half a century. However, among these animals there are also long-livers: it is known that the life expectancy of the Indian rhinoceros, with good luck, can be up to 70 years.
In the article we answered the question of how long a rhino lives, where it lives and what its diet is.