Defending the Rhino: Fifteen fantastic rhino facts

Last updated at 13:30
A baby rhino runningGetty Images

Rhino are amazing creatures, but how much do you know about them?

Check out our top fifteen facts to find out more…

1) There are five different species of rhino.

2) Rhino is short for rhinoceros. This name comes from the Greek words rhino, meaning nose and ceros, meaning horn.

3) The white rhino is the biggest species of rhino. It can weigh more than 3,500kg, making it the second largest mammal on land. The elephant is the largest, weighing up to 7,000kg.

White rhinoGetty Images
The largest species of rhino: the white rhino.

4) Rhino, along with lions, elephants, buffalo and leopards make up the "Big 5" animals that tourists like to see on safari.

Two rhinos spotted on safari in South Africa.Getty Images
Two rhinos spotted on safari in South Africa.

5) Rhino horns are not made of bone. They're made from keratin, just like human fingernails and hair.

6) A male rhino is called a bull, a female rhino is called a cow and a baby rhino is called a calf. A group of rhino is called a "herd" or "crash".

A muddy baby rhinoGetty Images
This cute calf has been playing in the mud…

7) Rhino have three toes on each foot.

8) The Sumatran rhino is the smallest rhino out of the five species. It is also the hairiest and the closest living relative to the ancient woolly rhinoceros that lived during the Ice Age.

A baby Sumatran rhino with mumGetty Images
A baby Sumatran rhino with its mum.

9) Rhino don't eat meat. They are herbivores, which means they eat plants.

10) Did you know, the white rhino and the black rhino are really the same dark grey colour? Sometimes they appear brown from wallowing in mud.

Two muddy rhinosGetty Images
Two black rhino, muddy from wallowing...

11) Rhino have sensitive skin. Wallowing in mud helps them to cool off, protects them from the sun and acts as an insect repellent!

12) Birds also help rhino get rid of creepy crawlies. Oxpeckers often sit on a rhino's back and eat insects. They call out if there is danger nearby - what good friends!

Rhino and an oxpecker, the birdGetty Images
An unlikely friendship between rhino and bird.

13) The greater one-horned rhino does more than just wallow in the mud; it likes to swim and can dive underwater for food.

A one-horned rhino swimming.Getty Images
This greater one-horned rhino just loves to swim...

14) Female rhino are pregnant for a lot longer than humans. Instead of carrying a baby for nine months, rhino mums are pregnant for 15-16 months!

15) Finally, rhino use their poo to communicate. They mark their territory by leaving piles of dung.

If you think you know all there is to know about rhino, try our new, rhino-themed quiz!