Rhinos have been on our planet for 50 million year and they haven’t changed that much since then (though they are less woolly)! The ancestors of today’s rhinos came in all shapes and sizes and were once the largest animals on land!
Rhinos are huge! The white rhino is one of the biggest animals in the world. It can grow to 1.8m (about six feet) tall at the shoulder, and weigh a massive 2,500kg – that’s the same as 30 men!
Rhinos love to get mucky! They wallow in puddles to cover themselves in mud. When the mud dries, it acts like sunscreen and protects their thick but sensitive skin from the hot African sun. It also keeps away biting insects. Wow!
Wild rhinos mark their territories by sending messages in their poo! ‘Middens’ – big, pongy piles of rhino poo – are really important ways of communicating with other rhinos. (We told you they love to get mucky!)
Rhinos have poor eyesight, and can barely see a person standing downwind if they don’t move. So they rely on their excellent sense of smell and hearing to detect friends and foes. Make a sound and they will know where you are!
Rhinos make a range of sounds to communicate. These include angry snorts, sneeze-like alarm calls and panting. Mums and their calves make the most adorable squeaking noise to talk to each other.
Black rhinos can be grumpy and prefer to be alone. But white rhinos often like to hang out with friends and family –particularly females and their calves. A group of rhinos is known as a ‘crash’.
When rhinos feel threatened, or think their baby is in danger, they charge directly at whatever has spooked them – and they’re surprisingly fast! They can run up to 30–40miles per hour (the best a human can do is 15mph), so you better climb a tree quickly or you could be flattened.
Thanks to their thick (but sensitive), armour-plated skin, rhinos are tough enough to take on any natural predators, even lions and hyenas. But they have no defences against humans with guns.
Rhinos are in really big trouble. Some people in Asia think their horns help cure illnesses and prove how wealthy they are. They don’t always realise that rhinos die so that they can have their horns. Find out how we’re protecting rhinos
THERE’S LOTS MORE GREAT STUFF ABOUT RHINOS ON OUR WEBSITE.
WHY NOT CHARGE OVER TO THESE EXCITING RHINO-TASTIC PAGES?
Know your black rhino from your white rhino in our RHINO FACT FILES
Have you got what it takes to be a rhino ranger? Find out how they MONITOR RHINOS
Get the point and find out HOW RHINO HORN GROWS