1. Home
  2. Fun Animal Facts
  3. Rhino: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Animals

Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Rhino: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Rhino facts, explore the second-largest land mammal

When you think of the largest animal, an elephant comes to your mind, right? The second-largest land animal, after an elephant, is the rhinoceros. A rhino is classified as megafauna, referring to its weight above 2,200 lb (1000 kg). Rhino means nose, in Greek, and ceros means horn. All five rhino species have at least one or two horns, for which they are known. It is an odd-toed ungulate in the family Rhinocerotidae.

Earlier, there were almost 100 known species of rhinos in wildlife, which has now reduced to five due to poaching, etc. The rhino conservation and wildlife conservation effort saved at least five. Three of them are found in Asia and two in Africa. The five species of rhinos are black and white rhinos from Africa and Sumatran, Javan, and the Great one-horned rhino from Asia.

The rhino horns are made up of keratin, the same substance that makes humans' hair and fingernails.

For more relatable content, check out northern white rhino facts and Javan rhinoceros facts for kids.

Rhino Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a rhino?

Rhino is an odd-toed ungulate animal of the family Rhinocerotidae, the second largest only after the elephant. Its weight can cross one ton, and its length can go up to 13 ft (4 m).

What class of animal does a rhino belong to?

Rhino belongs to the mammal class and gives birth to a single calf. There are currently five rhino species of the population across Africa and Asia which are the black rhino (Diceros bicornis), white rhino (Ceratotherium simum), which has two subspecies the southern and northern white rhino, Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), great one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis), and Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus).

How many rhinos are there in the world?

The overall population of rhinos in the world is about 30,000. White rhinos are most prevalent due to rhino conservation, at about 20,000 and black Rhinos at about 5000. The remaining 5,000 are constituted by Indian rhinos, at 3,600, and Sumatran Rhinos, fewer than 200.

A huge effort by International Rhino Foundation, Wildlife Conservation in the world has helped protect the white rhino population from poaching.

Where does a rhino live?

The rhinos are mostly found in Africa and Asia, though their range has declined drastically in the recent past. Their location also depends on their species, with black and white rhinos mostly in Namibia and coastal east Africa. The remaining population in the islands of Indonesia in Borneo, Sumatra, and Eastern Himalayas.

What is a rhino's habitat?

Being herbivorous, they prefer green habitats like tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, moist tropical forests, shrublands. The habitats also vary by species. For example, the white rhino prefers grasslands in Africa, while the Sumatran rhino is found in dense highlands and lowlands of tropical and subtropical forests.

Who do rhinos live with?

The black rhino is usually solitary except when the female is with the calf until about three years. White rhinos are more social living in groups of 14, which consist of the females with their calves.

The one-horned rhino is also solitary except when the juveniles, nearing adulthood, gather to graze at the wallows.

How long does a rhino live?

The lifespan of a rhino is typically 40-45 years. However, the lifespan varies based on rhino species.

How do they reproduce?

Often, the males and female rhinos fight with each other causing injuries, during courtship. After a 14 - 18 month gestation period, the female rhino gives birth to a single calf. The calf can weigh up to 100 lb (45.35 kg), drink milk from the mother until a year, and stay with the mother for nearly 4 years until the next newborn arrives. Sumatran rhinos are an exception to this, and their calf becomes independent after two or three years. Unfortunately, the Sumatran and Javan rhino population is declining as very few of their females are breeding.

What is their conservation status?

Black, Javan, and Sumatran rhinos are Critically Endangered. After significant rhino conservation efforts by the International Rhino Foundation, the white rhino is the only species that has moved to Near Threatened. The Indian rhino is classified as Vulnerable.

Poaching, habitat loss, natural catastrophes, and diseases are the main reasons for the Javan rhino population threat. Sumatran rhino follows closely behind, with habitat loss and fragmentation being the reasons for their population decline. This is because they are so scattered and living in non-viable populations, with minimal possibilities to find mates for breeding. For the One-horned rhino, poaching is the biggest threat, along with habitat loss. In addition, their horn is used in traditional Asian medicine, for which they are poached. The remaining two African rhinos, wildlife crime, and poaching are the biggest threat.

Wildlife conservation efforts by the African countries, Indonesia, to protect the rhinos have now helped in curtailing poaching almost wholly. The one-horned rhino, whose numbers climbed from 200 in the early twentieth century to 3700, is one of the most successful rhino conservation success stories, thanks to Indian and Nepalese authorities.

The adults have no natural predators and hence are not killed by other animals as prey. However, the calves can fall prey to big cats, African wild dogs, crocodiles, and even hyenas.

Rhino Fun facts

What do rhinos look like?

Rhino facts, learn more about the fascinating mega herbivorous animal.

The white rhino, Sumatran rhino facts, Javan rhino facts, and black rhino facts for kids:

The rhinos derive their name from horns, for which they are known and distinguished. The two African species and Sumatran rhinos have two horns, while the Javan and the Indian have one horn. The white and black rhinos are grayish. They have thick skin, about 0.6 in ( 1.5 cm) deep, and their blood vessels are close to the skin's surface.

The white rhino is large with a big head, short neck, broad chest, and two horns on its snout, the front one bigger than the rear one. It has a muscular hump to support the large head. The ear fringes and tail bristles are hairy.

The black rhino is much smaller than the White Rhino and has a pointed mouth to grab leaves and twigs while feeding.

The Indian rhino, as large as the white rhino, has thick silver brown skin and a rump giving it an armored look. Its shoulders and upper legs have wart-like bumps and very little hair on the body.

The Javan rhino has a single horn, closely related to the Indian rhino, is hairless, and has hazy gray skin.

With a short body and stubby legs, the Sumatran rhino is the tiniest of them all.

How cute are they?

Yes, these wild animals are cute, though they may not be glamorous by appearance; their sheer size is amusing.

How do they communicate?

Rhinos are extremely sharp in sensing smells. Rhino poop can be as much as 50 lb (22.7 kg) in a day. Spraying dung and urine is a distinct way to establish their territory. Several vocals sound like squeals, moos, growls, snorts, and even a trumpet sound indicate fight, grouping, or even a mother calling the calf. The Sumatran rhinos are experts in creating infrasonic sounds that can carry up to 12 miles (20 km). The rhinos use body language extensively, like rubbing sides to show affection, bashing heads for aggression, erect ears and tails for curiosity, and calves swing their heads to play with one another.

How big is a rhino?

Rhinos can be 9.2 - 13.1 ft (2.8 - 4 m) long and 4.5 - 6 ft (1.37 - 1.8 m) tall. They are only second to an elephant in their size and twice as big as a buffalo.

How fast can a rhino move?

Rhinos are the fastest land animals, with running speeds up to 35 mph (55 kph). Moreover, they pick up high speed from zero in very few seconds, without any warning.

How much does a rhino weigh?

The heaviest are white rhinos which can weigh up to 7920 lb (3600 kg). The Javan rhinos can weigh up to 5071 lb (2300 kg). The Indian rhino is next with 4800 lb (2200 kg). Finally, the black rhino can weigh up to 3086 lb (1400 Kg). Sumatran rhinos are smallest at 2090 lb (948 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male rhino of this species is called the male rhino, and the female is referred to as a female rhino.

What would you call a baby rhino?

A baby rhino is called a calf.

What do they eat?

Rhinos are megaherbivores, feeding on leaves, fruits, shrubs, bushes,  grasses, etc.

Are they dangerous?

The rhinos are potentially very dangerous. Though they are mostly to themselves, they can fight, steering their large bodies in few seconds upon sensing danger.

Would they make a good pet?

No, rhinos are not domesticated pets. They are wildlife animals.

Did you know...

The rhino horns are valued equal to their weight in gold, which is why poaching was rampant.

Different types of rhino

At present, only five rhino species are surviving. Two in Africa and three in Asia. The white and black rhinos are found in Africa, whereas the Indian, Javan, and Sumatran rhinos are found in Asia.

Do rhinos really put out fires?

No. Though it has been shown in several movies that rhinos can stomp out fires, it is a myth, and there is no record of it. Instead, they are alert for any danger and react swiftly despite their large body.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our plains zebra facts and Sri Lankan elephant facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable rhino coloring pages.

Subscribe_Hero
Get The Kidadl Newsletter
1,000's of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.

EXPLORE KIDADL
In need of more inspiration?