An Indian rhinoceros

Indian rhinoceros

Indian rhinoceroses have a formidable appearance. The folded skin looks like a suit of armour enhanced by a single half metre horn on its nose. Courtships are aggressive with chasing and fighting common. A successful mating ends in a single 70kg calf being born, which remains by its mother's side until the next calf is born. Their travelling companions are egrets and myna birds, happily riding on a rhino's back picking at parasites found in the folds of skin. Indian rhinos eat mainly grass, but will also consume aquatic plants, happily wading into the water and dunking their head underneath the surface to pull them up. Mother rhinos will push over saplings so that their calves can reach the leaves. Scattered populations are now only to be found in north east India, Bhutan and Nepal.

Scientific name: Rhinoceros unicornis

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Asian one-horned rhinoceros,
  • Great one-horned rhinoceros

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The Indian rhinoceros can be found in a number of locations including: Himalayas, Indian subcontinent. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Indian rhinoceros distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status


  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Increasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Indian rhinoceros