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Temporal range: Eocene–Present
A Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) at the Saint Louis Zoo.
Scientific classification e
Kinrick: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Cless: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Superfaimily: Rhinocerotoidea
Faimily: Rhinocerotidae
Gray, 1820
Extant genera

Extinct genera, see text

Rhinoceros range

Rhinoceros /rˈnɒsərəs/, eften abbreviatit as rhino, is a group o five extant species o odd-taed ungulates in the faimily Rhinocerotidae. Twa o these species are native tae Africae an three tae Soothern Asie.

Members o the rhinoceros faimily are characterized bi thair muckle size (thay are some o the mucklest remainin megafauna, wi aw o the species able tae reach ane tonne or mair in wicht); as well as bi an herbivorous diet; a thick pertective skin, 1.5–5 cm thick, furmed frae layers o collagen poseetioned in a lattice structur; relatively smaa brains for mammals this size (400–600 g); an a muckle horn. Thay generally eat leafy material, altho thair ability tae ferment fuid in thair hindgut allaes them tae subsist on mair fibrous plant matter, if necessary. Unlik ither perissodactyls, the twa African species o rhinoceros lack teeth at the front o thair muiths, relyin instead on thair pouerfu premolar an molar teeth tae grind up plant fuid.[1]

Rhinoceros are killed bi humans for thair horns, which are boucht an sauld on the black mercat, an which are uised bi some culturs for ornamental or tradeetional medicinal purposes. East Asie, specifically Vietnam, is the mucklest mercat for rhino horns. Rhino horns cost as much as gowd on the black mercat. Fowk grind up the horns an then consume them believin the dust haes therapeutic properties.[2] The horns are made o keratin, the same teep o protein that maks up hair an fingernails.[3] Baith African species an the Sumatran rhinoceros hae twa horns, while the Indian an Javan rhinoceros hae a single horn.

The IUCN Reid Leet identifies three o the species as creetically endangered.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Owen-Smith, Norman (1984). Macdonald, D. (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 490–495. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.
  2. Vietnam's Appetite For Rhino Horn Drives Poaching In Africa, by Frank Langfitt, 13 May 2013
  3. "What is a rhinoceros horn made of?". Yesmag.bc.ca. 9 October 2003. Archived frae the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2010.