If you can't tell by now, all of us here at Home of the Wild think rhinos are pretty amazing creatures. In fact, we think they're so amazing that we decided to use our second blog post to tell you exactly why. Hopefully, if you don't already, you'll love these gentle giants as much as we do by the end of this.
Reason #1: There are five species of rhinos.
There are two African rhino species: the White Rhino and the Black Rhino. Additionally, there are three Asian rhino species: the Javan Rhino, Sumatran Rhino and the Greater One-Horned Rhino. In addition to their habitats, these rhinos all vary is size, diet, characteristics and behavior. For example, White rhinos are grazers, so they have a square-shaped upper lip to help them eat. Black rhinos are browsers and have a hooked upper lip to help them reach the taller leaves.
Reason #2: They use piles of poop like we use social media.
Yes, you did read that right. Researchers have found that rhinos all tend to poop in distinct locations called middens. These middens contain way more information about the rhinos that defecate in that area than we would expect. From smelling the different chemicals in feces in the midden, a rhino can detect characteristics such as age, sex, health and reproductive status in the other rhinos. Pretty cool, eh?
Reason #3: White Rhinos gained their name due to a mistranslation.
There is no actual color difference between White and Black Rhinos, both a shade of grey. It is believed that the White rhinos were named as such due to a mistranslation of the Afrikaans word "wyd". This word actually translates to "wide" in English, but was most likely heard as "white", therefore creating the White Rhino species.
Reason #4: A group of rhinos is called a crash!
Is there a better name out there for a group of beings? We aren't sure because this one is perfect. Between their general appearance and use of their horns and heavy bodies to fight amongst each other for mates, referring to a group a rhinos as a crash makes perfect sense. Why we love this the most though is because although rhinos look aggressive, they are in fact gentle giants.
#5: Repopulation is possible.
In the 19th century, the southern white rhino was thought to be extinct. There were so few of them in the world that we actually believed them to be gone. Forever. Thankfully, they were not. In 1895 a group of less than 100 southern white rhinos was discovered in South Africa. It took over a century of these rhinos being heavily protected and managed, but they have finally reached a classification of Near Threatened. Meaning, up to 21,000 southern white rhinos now exist in protected sanctuaries. Over time, these rhinos went from being thought of as extinct to being the only one of the rhino species that is not classified as Endangered or even worse. With continued help and support, we hope that the same can occur for the other four rhino species!
Wild(her) & Wild(him)