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Did You Know? Incredible Black Rhinoceros Facts

Contents

The two different rhinoceros of South Africa are the black rhinoceros and white rhinoceros. The black rhinos are not really black in color but to know why they are called black rhino, you will have to read ahead. The rhinos are huge in size and they have a high value in the black market for the rhino horn. Due to this poaching, habitat loss, and other reasons the black rhinos were on the verge of extinction. Black rhinos lost a huge part of their population but thankfully, the population of endangered black rhinoceros is recovering slowly as the data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature shows that their numbers have doubled over the last 25 years or so and it's still increasing. As of 2020, they are not extinct. These rhinos are fascinating creatures with distinctive features like they are hook-lipped, meaning they have prehensile upper lip by which they grab the plants and beautiful horns. These herbivorous rhinos eat shrubs, small trees, and bushes. Read on to know more fun and interesting facts about the black rhinoceros. If you like this article, then check out Javan rhinoceros and African bullfrog facts too.

Black Rhinoceros Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black rhinoceros?

Black rhinoceroses are a kind of rhinoceros, that go by the scientific name, Diceros bicornis.

What class of animal does a black rhinoceros belong to?

Black rhinos belong to the Mammalia class of animals.

How many black rhinoceros are there in the world?

The black rhino population came down so low back at the end of the 20th century that only a few thousand of them were left at one time. Due to continuous conservation efforts all across Africa to save the black rhinoceros population, the number grew up to 5000 in today's time from 2410, which was back in 1995.

Where does a black rhinoceros live?

Black rhinoceros are the smaller types of the two different ones of South Africa. The black rhinoceros location ranges from East Africa, Namibia, South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, Cameroon, Angola, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.

What is a black rhinoceros's habitat?

The black rhinoceros habitat is mostly in grasslands to deserts. They can be seen in forests, mainly in the places where forests and grassland meet. They can live in both tropical and subtropical climates. The black rhino has a fascinatingly adaptable nature.

Who do black rhinoceros live with?

Adult black rhinos are solitary in nature. They mostly stay on their own except the breeding season and when they're taking care of their young ones in their territory.

How long does a black rhinoceros live?

On average, a black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) can live about 30-35 years if they are living in the wild. Sadly, there are not many who live past that age as hunting the black rhino for the rhino horn and habitat loss is a big threat to their mortality. In captivity, the black rhinos live up to 45 years. The highest ever recorded has been 49 years.

How do they reproduce?

Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) usually live on their own but they come together when the breeding season approaches. The breeding season varies according to location. So, it happens almost throughout the year. They are polygynous in nature and the females among them reach their sexual maturity at the age of five to seven years while the males reach their maturity seven to eight years. Courtship ritual includes the males of the species following the female around for about two weeks. The males show some distinctive behavior in front of the female they have chosen. They brush their horns on the ground or walk in a stiff way. If the female is not ready, they show aggression toward the male. The gestation period is about 15 months and the mama rhino usually has one baby at a time.

What is their conservation status?

The black rhinoceros conservation status, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is Critically Endangered. There was an abundance of species in the 20th century but between 1970 and 1992, within 22 years the species lost 96% of its population to habitat loss, hunting, alien plant invasion, or other competing species. The number came down to 2400 at a time and the species became Critically Endangered. Fortunately, good conservation efforts have been made to bring the black rhino numbers up since then.

Black Rhinoceros Fun Facts

What do black rhinoceros look like?

Even though the species is called the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis), their skin color varies from light brown to a darker shade but is mainly gray. The skin color depends upon the soil of their habitat. The rhinos are hairless other than some short hair on their ears. The black rhinos have two horns on the front. Between the two horns, the anterior horn or front horn is a bit bigger, measuring about 16.5-50.4 in (42-128 cm). The posterior horn or the back horn is about 7.9-19.7 in (20-50 cm). Some black rhinos can be seen with another smaller horn. Females have a thinner and longer horn than males. They also have a prehensile upper lip. Overall, these rhinos are one of the most beautiful among the rhino species.

Black rhinos populations are Critically Endangered due to poaching.

How cute are they?

Rhinos are large animals that have horns on the front of their body. If you were to stand in front of one such large rhino, we're sure you'd be scared for your life rather than think they're cute, but these rhinos are not that dangerous until they feel threatened. So, there's no harm in considering them cute.

How do they communicate?

Black rhinos can see, smell and hear and they can also communicate through all but their vision is not that strong. They can see about 82-98 ft (25-30 m) around them. They can hear pretty well but it's not as good as their sense of smell. They use their feces and urine to mark their territories. If a male black rhino decides to enter into the territory of another dominant male black rhino, they would get intimidated by the scent of the dominating male.

How big is a black rhinoceros?

Black rhinoceros are pretty big in size. Males are a bit bigger in size than females. Black rhinos range from 4.6-5.9 ft (1.4-1.8 m) in height when they are standing. Their head to body length has a range of about 9.8-12.3 ft (3-3.8 m) excluding the tail. The length of the tail is about 2.3 ft (0.7 m).

How fast can a black rhinoceros run?

Black rhinos can run pretty fast. They can not only move quickly, but they also change their direction at that top speed too. They can run through trees, bushes, or shrubs easily. Their speed has been recorded to 34 mph (55 kmph).

How much does a black rhinoceros weigh?

Black rhinoceros are pretty big in size. On average, their weight has a range of around 1762.1-3083.7 lb (800 -1400 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male of the species is called bulls and the female of the species is called cows. A group of rhinos is called a crash.

What would you call a baby black rhinoceros?

The babies of black rhinoceroses are called calves.

What do they eat?

Black rhinoceros eat about 52 lb (23.6 kg) a day. Black rhinos are browsers and herbivorous in nature. So, the black rhinoceros diet includes woody shrubs, grass, twigs, legumes, small trees, and bushes. They especially like trees of the Euphorbiaceae and of the Acacia. They use their upper lips to grab the plants and sometimes they use their horn to break down the trees too. A specialty of the black rhinos is that they scrape the bark off of trees.

Are they aggressive?

Black rhinos have a speed of 34 mph or 55 kmph and combining that with their thousand-pound weight, it wouldn't be the best idea to be around them when they are threatened. They are like every other animal on the planet. They wouldn't become aggressive until they feel threatened but black rhinos have poor eyesight which makes them react pretty quickly.

Would they make a good pet?

Black rhinos are wild animals. Even though they can be given a proper life at the zoo, you cannot provide them with their required environment in a household. So, it's advisable that you don't try to keep them as pets.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

In 2014, an auction was held to raise money for the conservation of the black rhinos by trying to sell a permit to hunt a black rhinoceros in the amount of $350,000 USD. To no one's surprise, the effort was widely criticized.

Oxpecker birds and black rhinos make a beautiful yet beneficial friendship. Oxpeckers eat pests and black rhinos get plenty of them. The Oxpeckers make themselves at home on top of the rhinos feasting on a whole lot of food and in return, the rhinos become pest-free and Oxpeckers can also shout to let the rhinos know if they sense any danger coming from afar.

One of the black rhinoceros adaptations is their skin which is thick but very sensitive. They get a whole lot of ticks and other pets on their skin which makes them uncomfortable and itchy and they spend most of the time itching themselves. That proves enough that they have extremely sensitive skin. They might live in Africa but their skin is intolerant to the environment and they are very much prone to sunburn.

Although the West African black rhinoceros was declared extinct, back in 2011, there are three different subspecies of black rhinoceros, like the Southern-central black rhinoceros, South-western black rhinoceros, and East African black rhinoceros.

The biggest black rhinoceros predators are humans. In terms of the animals, spotted hyenas and lions prey on them.

White rhinoceros vs. black rhinoceros

The two different variants of rhinos of Africa are the African black rhinoceros and the African white rhinoceros. There's not much difference between them except for a few aspects. The white rhinos have comparatively bigger ears, heads, and horns than the black rhino. Whereas, the main thing that distinguishes the two is their upper lips. Black rhinos have a prehensile upper lip which helps them grab food to put into their mouth, but the white rhinos have a square lip.

Why is the black rhino called black?

Black rhinos are not really black in color. The color of their skin varies from light brownish to dark to gray. They probably got their name either from the dark color of the soil they live in when they roll down in and it gets stuck to their body or they got their name in contrast to the white rhinos.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Sumatran elephant, or plains zebra.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our black rhino coloring pages.

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