BLACK RHINO

Protect it before it's too late

The Black Rhino/ The Hook-Lipped Rhino

The black rhino rumbles over southern and eastern Africa, from Kenya to South Africa to Zimbabwe. It roams the grassland and savanna biomes and also likes the woodlands. They prefer to live in areas of thick wooded vegetation. They will live almost anywhere with a healthy supply of shrubs and woody herbs near a water source. Climate is usually hot and arid but in the wet season, air is usually moist.



The black rhino has two horns which grow from the skin continuously. The horn is made out of keratin. Males are known to have thicker and stubbier horns while females have thinner and longer ones. A black rhino is about 5 ft in shoulder height. A male black rhino weighs around 1350 kg while a female weighs 900 kg. The coloring of a black is a grayish color. The black rhino is smaller than the white rhino and has a smaller hump on its neck because it browses for food. Hairs are found in a rhino's ear and on tail tips and eyelashes. The most important characteristic of a black rhino is the hooked lip. The hooked lip allows it to grasp the woody plants and sticks it eats.


Black rhinos are semi-social. They roam the grasslands usually by themselves but also congregate near waterholes. It has a mutual relationship with the red and yellow-billed ox peckers, which eat parasites off the rhino and warn the rhino of danger. In return, the bird gets a free ride and food. The black rhino is a primary consumer because it eats grasses and plants. Only a few animals dare to attack the rhino and only a calf at that. These animals include the Nile crocodile, a lion or hyenas.


Extinction

Endanger?

Black rhinos are hunted for their horns because they are used in traditional Chinese medicines and they are used as ornamental handles for daggers. Black rhinos are being hunted to extinction. They were placed on the Endangered List in 1986 and have been on the critically endangered list from 1996-2011.


But why should we save the black rhinos? If the black rhinos became extinct then the woody shrubs would not have many consumers, allowing them to grow rapidly. If it did then the place would be overrun by it. Taking out the black rhinos would make the food chain and ecosystem unbalanced.

Bibliography

  • "Black Rhino Information". Black Rhino Factfile. Save the Rhino, n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2013.
  • "Black Rhinoceros". WWF. WWF, n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2013.
  • "Black Rhinoceros at Animal Corner". Black Rhinoceros at Animal Corner. Animal Corner, n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2013.