There are five species of rhino in the world: two in Africa (the White Rhinoceros and the Black Rhinoceros) and three in Asia (the Indian Rhinoceros, Javan Rhinoceros and Sumatran Rhinoceros). A few interesting facts: the name rhinoceros means nose horn and comes from the Greek words rhino (nose) and ceros (horn); a rhino horn is made of keratin, the same substance that fingernails and hair are made of; a white rhino can weigh over 7700 lb (that’s heavy) and is considered the second largest land mammal after the elephant; rhinos can grow to over 6 feet tall and more than 11 feet in length (that’s huge); rhinos are herbivores (that’s plants).
Tragic but true: all five species of rhino share this unfortunate fact –– they’re being poached in record high numbers for their horn, in some cases to the brink of extinction. Today, very few rhinos survive outside protected areas. Some of our favorite organizations like Big Life Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund are actively fighting to protect rhinos and other endangered species. Check them out.
Fun fact: The difference between the African Black Rhinoceros and White Rhinoceros isn’t color –– they’re actually both gray. The difference is the shape of their mouth. Black rhinos are browsers that eat trees and bushes. White rhinos graze on grasses, hence the lawnmower-wide mouth.
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