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Temporal range: Eocene - Recent
Black rhinoceros, Diceros bicornis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Rhinocerotidae
Gray, 1821

A rhinoceros (rhino for short) is any mammal in the family Rhinocerotidae. They are in the order Perissodactyla, or odd-toed ungulates. There are five living species. Two of these species are native to Africa. Three of these species are also native to Southern parts of Asia.


Sizes of the different rhinoceros species.


All five rhinoceros species are native to Africa or Asia. The two species in Africa are the White rhinoceros and the Black rhinoceros. The three species in Asia (including islands of Indonesia) are the Javan rhinoceros, Sumatran rhinoceros, and Indian rhinoceros.


A White Rhinoceros and its calf.

The rhinoceros is a herbivore. Its favourite food is leaves, branches and bushes (if it is a browser species), or grass (if it is a grazer species).

Rhinoceroses have a large horn on the nose. Their horns are not like those of other horned mammals: the rhinoceros' horn is made of keratin packed together very tightly.

The rhinoceroses can weigh up to 2,000 kilograms (4,400 lb) and be up to 375 centimetres (12.30 ft) tall.

They charge really fast.

Rhinoceros and humans

Only the White Rhinoceros is not in critical danger of becoming extinct. They are protected, but hunted mainly for their horns. Loss of habitat is also a danger to rhinos. Governments have made logging their habitat and poaching illegal.

Rhinoceros horns are used in Asian medicine, and for dagger handles in Yemen and Oman. This is what is leading to extinction of these animals.

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