Rhino Poaching Facts – Rhinos are instantly recognisable, with their huge body and their distinctive horns. We know lots of things about rhinos but there are a number of things you may not have read or heard before. He are 10 facts you may not know about rhinos:
- Despite their size, rhinos are actually pretty fast runners. They can reach 30-40 mph which makes them quite formidable if they’re running towards you.
- Not all rhinos are solitary, both black and white rhinos commonly live in extended family groups. A group of rhinos is known as a “crash”
- The word rhinoceros comes from the Greek rhino which means nose and ceros which means horn.
- The closest living “relatives” of the rhino are horses and tapirs.
- Rhinos use their dung to pass on messages to other rhinos. The smell of dung can tell others a lot about the rhinos in the area. The smell differs between young and adults, males and females as well as between females who are ready to mate and those who are not.
- Rhinos have extremely poor eyesight but their sense of smell and hearing make up for this. If startled a rhino is likely to charge in order to defend itself.
- The terms white rhino and black rhino are misleading as neither species is actually black or white. The name white was adopted by early english settlers who misinterpreted the word “weit” for “white”. The word weit is taken from Afrikaans to describe the rhinos mouth and it means “wide”.
- Most rhinos use piles of dung to leave “messages” for other rhinos – nuances in the smell of dung can tell a rhino a lot about others in the area.
- Rhino skin is much softer than it appears.The animals are particularly vulnerable to insect bites and sunburn. Rolling or wallowing in the mud helps protect their skin from sunburn and insects.
- There are five subspecies of rhino and of these, three are critically endangered, meaning they could become extinct within the next 50 years. It is vital that we support conservation work so that rhinos can remain on earth for us to enjoy for generations to come. Adopt a rhino with the WWF and do your bit to save this magnificent animal.
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