Black Rhinoceros Facts

There are very few animals in the world that are comparable with the black rhinoceros. The facts about black rhinoceros given in this article will hopefully help you understand why these animals are so awe-inspiring.
AnimalSake Staff
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
Today, these animals are on the verge of extinction, thanks to years of relentless poaching but rhinoceros, even today are probably one of the most majestic animals to walk the earth. The fact that these animals have been around since the Miocene era, million of years ago, only adds to their aura. But, these animals are today almost extinct with almost ninety percent of the population being killed and poached since the 1970s. There are five species of rhinos existent in the world today and the black rhino is one of them. In this article, we will give you some facts that will help you understand more about this animal that once ruled sub-Saharan African jungles.
There is a lot to learn about this mammal. But before we take a closer look at how its appearance is, where it lives, what its diet is and other such details, let us get an overview of some basic features of the black rhinoceros.
Facts About Black Rhinoceros
Genus : Diceros
Species: D. bicornis
Conservation status : Critically endangered
Type : Mammal
Height (at shoulder) : 4.5 to 6 feet
Weight : 800 to 1400 kg
Appearance
While they are categorized as black rhinoceros, it is important to understand that even the species of white rhinoceros is actually gray in color. The difference between the two actually lies in the shape of their lip, with the black rhinoceros having a pointed upper lip. This shape of the lip is an adaptability to allow the animal to feed on twigs, leaves, herbs and shoots. This species of rhinos have two horns, with the one in front being more prominent than the other. Rhino horns grow about three inches every year. The horn of the rhino is made of thick hair that is matted. It grows from the skull with absolutely no support from the skeletal system. While male rhinos use horns to battle predators, females use it to protect their children. Rhinos have eyelashes and have hair on their ears and at the tip of their tail. If you study the different facts about rhinoceros, you will learn that like every other species of the rhino, even the black rhinoceros is odd toed and has three toes on each foot. Many are surprised by the fact that a black rhino is actually very fast and can run at a speed of almost 50 kilometers per hour.
Behavior
Rhinos are known to be solitary creatures which prefer to roam around alone than in a herd. They tend to interact with each other only when they mate and when the mother is raising its calf. They are territorial animals that defend their areas fiercely. They have a very sharp sense of smell and also have a keen hearing power. Despite being a large animal with a lot of power, the fact remains that it is not a natural predator which is what makes it an easy prey for humans. But, these animals tend to be aggressive and attack not out of an actual threat but normally out of fear and confusion. They often have been known to attack tree trunks and termite mounds and this is generally a result of their poor eyesight.
Habitat and Diet
The black rhino normally stays in areas that have a dense and woody vegetation. These mammals feed at night and often lie around in a water hole with wet mud, so as to coat their skin with the mud which acts as a bug repellent and a sun block. The vegetation that a black rhino feeds on includes buds, shoots, leaves, bushes and trees.
As mentioned before, these animals are often solitary and do not mingle in herds but they have a close relationship with their calves that lasts for two to four years. Black rhinos are extremely intriguing animals that tend to awe you by their sheer presence, but their numbers are fast depleting due to a high demand for their horn. If something is not done and their depreciating numbers are not reversed, the black rhino may soon join the ranks of extinct animals.