The name rhinoceros, which in short form is “rhino”, comes from the Greek word rhinokeros, which means nose-horned. Rhinos come from the Rhinocerotidae family. “Rhinoceros” is frequently used to refer to the broad superfamily of the rhinocerotoidea, which are mostly extinct now. The rhinoceros are among the biggest remaining animals and they weigh more than one ton. They are classified as herbivores since they commonly eat leafy plants. In terms of appearance, rhinos have dense protective skin that is about one to five centimeters thick. They also have one to two horns. Today, rhino populations are found in parts of Africa and Asia. The number of rhinos that exist continues to decrease and there are only just a few left. Overall, there are only about 30,000 rhinos left globally. Some of the remaining rhino species include black rhino, Sumatran rhino, white rhino, Javan rhino, and the Indian rhino.
Types of Rhinoceros
A mature black rhino is about 1.50-1.75 meters tall and 3.5-3.9 meters long. They have two horns and weigh up to 1,600 kilograms. The black rhino has four classifications, which include the Southwestern, Southcentral, and East-African black rhinos. The West-African black rhinos are also included except that they are now extinct. The black rhinos were originally about 70,000 and were reduced to approximately 2,410 in 1995. However, the number steadily improved and there are now about 5,040 to 5,458 of them. This number is however still lower than that of previous generations.
The Sumatran rhino lives in Sumatra and Borneo. It has several hairs on its body. An adult Sumatran rhino is 1.3 meters tall and weighs about 700 kilograms. Sumatran also has two horns. The three subspecies of the Sumatran include Sumatran, Bornean, and the Northern Sumatran, which is possibly extinct. Sumatran rhinos are about to go extinct because of the loss of habitat and illegal poaching. There are only about 100 Sumatran rhinos left making them one of the rarest animals in the world.
The white rhino includes the southern white and the northern white rhinos. The white rhino is 1.8-2 meters tall and has two horns. It weighs about 1,600-2,000 kilograms. In 2013, the southern white rhino had a population of about 20,405. However, the northern white rhino is critically threatened and only a few are left. In general, the total number of white rhinos left is between 19,666 and 21,085.
The Javan rhino is the least popular species of the rhino. It has one horn and is 1.5-1.7 meters tall. It weighs about 1,400-2,000 kilograms. The Javan rhino was once spread across Asia; however, it has been severely hunted to extermination in areas like Burma, Malaysia, and Nepal. There are only about 61 to 63 Javan rhinos left on earth.
An Indian rhino has a single horn. It is about 1.75-2 meters tall and weighs about 2,000-3,200 kilograms. Indian rhinos once occupied areas like Myanmar and Pakistan but they are now limited to a few areas such as Assam and Uttar Pradesh due to loss of habitat and poaching. There are about 3,500 Indian rhinos left currently.
Rhinos are among some of the most endangered animal species since poachers hunt them down for their horns. Rhino horns are believed to be as valuable as gold in the black market. Their horns are used as traditional medicine and they act as ornaments. A kilogram of rhino horns is about 100,000 dollars; therefore, individuals are ready to take out the rhinos for the greed of money. As of 2016, more than 1,050 rhinos were killed in South Africa as stated by the World Wildlife Fund.