Rhinoceroses (family Rhinocerotidaeare) the largest land mammals after the elephant. There are five species of rhinos, two African and three Asian.They take herbivorous diet and have a 1.5 to 5 cm thick protective skin. They have thickly mattered hair on the skull without any skeletal support known as horn. They have acute hearing and sense of smell, but poor eyesight over any distance.
· Asian rhinos include the Indian (or great one-horned rhinoceros) and the Javan, each with one horn, and the Sumatran, which has two.The African species are the white and black rhinoceroses. Both species have two horns.
· All five species of rhinoceros can grow to weigh over 1000 kg (2200 lb).
· The black rhino is a browser, with a triangular-shaped upper lip ending in a mobile grasping point. It eats a large variety of vegetation, including leaves, buds and shoots of plants, bushes and trees. The white rhino, on the other hand, is a grazer feeding on grasses.
· Males and females frequently fight during courtship, sometimes leading to serious wounds inflicted by their horns. After mating, the pair goes their separate ways. A calf is born 14 to 18 months later. Although they nurse for a year, calves are able to begin eating vegetation one week after birth.
· The black rhino is considered the most aggressive species of its family and, despite its massive bulk, they can charge at great speeds of 50km per hour at an unwary observer. They are fully capable of killing a human being and can even cause serious damage to a car. It rarely presses home such attacks, preferring instead to browse the low trees of its wooded habitat, or simply to doze in the cool shade.
· The rhino averages about 1.5 tons in weight, and the rhino has a tough skin that is roughly 1.5cm thick. The rhino also has a large horn in the middle of its face and some species of rhino have a second smaller horn above the larger one.
· The rhinoceros is generally found in thick forests and savannas where there is plenty of food to eat and lots of cover for the rhino to hide in. Although the rhino is a herbivore, they are known for their aggressive nature and will often charge towards oncoming predators in order to scare them away. Most rhinoceros individuals that are killed by poachers are caught out when they are quietly drinking from a water hole and therefore drop their guard.
· Rhinos don't clash just with other animals or objects; sometimes they fight with each other. Males often battle over territory and females. Even courting males and females sometimes fight one another.