Indian Rhinoceros

From Academic Kids

Indian Rhinoceros

Conservation status: Endangered

Missing image

Juvenile, Male, and Female Indian Rhinoceros
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Rhinoceros unicornis
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The Indian Rhinoceros or the great one-horned rhinoceros, Rhinoceros unicornis, is found in Nepal and in Assam, India. It is confined to the tall grasslands and forests in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Indian Rhinoceros is an excellent swimmer. It can also run up to a speed of 55 km/h for short times. It has excellent hearing and smell but poor eyesight.

This prehistoric looking rhinoceros has thick, silver-brown skin which creates huge folds all over its body. The upper legs and shoulders are covered in wart-like bumps and it has very little body hair. Fully grown males are noticeably larger than females, standing about 1.8 metres tall, weighing up to 2270kgs and reaching up to 3.6 metres long. The Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros has a single horn; this is present in both males and females, but not on newborn young. The horn, like human hair, is pure keratin and starts to show after about one year. It reaches a length of between 20 and 61cm.

Males can breed at nine years of age and females reach sexual maturity at five years and have their first calves when between six and eight years. The female whistles when in season so that males know when she is ready to mate. The gestation period is about 16 months. A single calf is born at intervals of about three years. Mother rhinos are attentive and protective, the young staying with the mother for several years. Females and their young travel together but males usually travel alone and are territorial. Indian rhinos live upto age of 45 years.

Indian rhinos are poached for their horn, which some cultures in East Asia believe has healing and potency powers. Less than 2500 individuals remain in the wild, and the species is an endangered one.

Major steps have been taken by the Indian and Nepalese governments with the help of World Wildlife Fund or WWF for their protection. The Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park in Assam and Royal Chitwan National Park in Nepal are the homes for the endangered animal.da:Indisk næsehorn de:Panzernashorn


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