Rhinos

By Zoe and Matt

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY, THERE WERE 500,000 RHINOS LEFT IN THE WILD. TODAY, THERE ARE ONLY 29,000.

Rhinos are an ancient species who are threatened by the excessive poaching and habitat loss caused by humans. They are large peaceful herbivours, only charging if they feel threatened. Try not to make them feel threatened though, because they can run 40 km/h and have a large deadly horn!

CLASSIFICATION

Rhinoceros

Nicknamed the rhino

scientific name: Rhinocerotidae

Kingdom: Animalia

Class: Mammalia

Order: Perissodactyla

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ANATOMY

The Rhinos' main feature is its horn, or in some cases, horns. They vary in length depending on the subspecies of rhino. Rhinos are grey, sometimes tinged with brown. Their heads are lower then their shoulders, and they have hairy tufted tails. Depending on the sex and subspecies, rhinos usually reach between 1.6 and 1.8 m tall and can run 40 km/h in short bursts. They have very poor eyesight, although they have acute hearing and smell.
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DID YOU KNOW?

Birds called ox peckers perch on rhinos and eat the ticks and bugs on the rhino. The rhino profits by getting tick-ridden, and the ox pecker profits with a good meal!
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BEHAVIOUR

Rhinos are mainly solitary animals except for mating. Rhino babies are born weighing around 40 kg, and after 10 minutes are already standing up. They are born without horns, so rely completely on their mothers for protection. They stay with their mother until the next baby is born, when they are around 3 years of age.

Rhinos live 35-40 years in the wild, but most reach around 50 in captivity. A group of rhinos is called a 'crash'.

Rhinos mark territory by walking through their own feces and spraying urine. Each rhino gives off its own unique smell to the other rhinos.

It may sound gross, but for them its just the same as updating their Facebook profile.

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HABITAT

Rhino subspecies are identified by where they live, Africa and Asia. They live in places where they can easily access their food and water, like grassy plains, low-grounded rainforst, and muddy banks and rivers.

DIET

Rhinos are herbivorous, meaning that they have a plant based diet. They eat long grass, fruits, twigs and leaves depending on the subspecies. They eat 60-80kg of food per day, so spend most of their day eating.

JAVAN RHINOCEROS

The Javan Rhinoceros (also known as The Lesser One Horned Rhinoceros) is thought to be the most critically endangered animal on Earth. They used to live in Assam, Bengal, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java and possibly Borneo. Now they are thought to only populate Ujung Kulon National Park in Java. With only about 60 left alive in the wild, they are one of the most endangered species in the world.

It has one horn which grows to about 20 cm, the smallest horn of all the rhinoceros species. The longest horn recorded on a Javan Rhinoceros was 27 cm.


Scientific Name: Rhinoceros sondaicus

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INDIAN RHINOCEROS

Like the Javan Rhino, the Indian Rhinoceros has only one horn that can reach about 20-60 cm. These rhinos forage for aquatic plants, tall grasses, fruits, and sometimes farm crops with their prehensile (gripping) lip in the cool morning and evening hours so as not to get too hot. When it is hot, they usually wallow in cool water. They habitat tall grassy areas with a source of water nearby. There are thought to be roughly only 2,500 left alive on earth. Their status is vulnerable. This rhino is, along with the whit rhino, the largest species of rhino and the second largest mammal on earth after the african and asian elephant.


Scientific name: Rhinoceros unicornis

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SUMATRAN RHINOCEROS

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest of all the rhinos and is the only Asian rhino with two horns. Young adult Sumatran rhinos are covered with reddish brown fur that turns dark and bristley with age. Of all the rhino subspecies, the Sumatran rhino is the most closely related to the extinct wooly rhinos, and also the most threatened with only 100 left alive in the world. The Sumatran rhino eats fruit, (especially wild mangoes and figs), bark, twigs and leaves.


Scientific name: Dicerorhinus sumatrensis

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BLACK RHINOCEROS

The Black rhino is critically endangered with roughly 5000 left alive in the world thanks to mans greed for the rhino horn. Black rhinos have two horns, the longer reaching around 50cm. The male rhino's longer horn is generally thicker then the females, which is long and slim.

The black rhino was name so to distinguish it from the white rhino, although neither of them are the colour as their name suggests. The black rhino has a pointed upper lip which they use to eat fruit and leaves from trees and bushes. It's shoulder stands 1.4 - 1.8 meters tall and it can reach speeds up to 45 km/h in short bursts.

There are four subspecies of black rhino, one of which was declared extinct in november, 2011.

Scientific name: Diceros Bicornis

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WHITE RHINOCEROS.

The name 'White Rhinoceros' is thought to be a confusion with the Afrikaans word 'wyd,' meaning wide, which is a popular theory because they are not at all white as their name suggests, but grey, as is the Black rhinoceros. The white rhino, as well as the Indian Rhino, is the largest subspecies of rhinoceros, and the second largest mammal on earth after the asian and african elephant.

Unlike the Black Rhino who has a pointed lip, White Rhinos have a sqaure lip which helps them to eat long grassess. White Rhinos keep their heads lowered for most of the day, whether most other rhinos need to lift their heads to reach trees and tall bushes.

The white rhino has two subspecies, the southern white rhino and the northern white rhino. In 2007, the southern white rhino had a rough population of 17,480, and was the most common rhino subspecies in the world. The northern white rhino, however, had a total population of 4 in the wild, and as few as 12 in captivity.


Scientific name: Ceratotherium simum

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WHY THEY ARE GOING EXTINCT

They are going extinct because their habitats are being destroyed.
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WHAT IS BEING DONE TO HELP THEM

There are borders in place so that people cannot log/destroy those areas. There are breeding programs in zoos to prolong there survival.