Female Black Rhinos reach sexual maturity around 4—5 years old but have their first calf at around 6. Males breed later as they need the size and strength to be able to compete with other males; they generally start to claim territories and mate at 10—12 years old. Mating occurs at any time throughout the year and can be violent. Females may not accept the males at first and it is not unusual for fights to break out between the two as the male tries to persuade the female to accept him.
Once mated, one calf is born after a month gestation period. Calves can remain with the mother for up to four years but are generally weaned after one. Black Rhinos and Oxpecker birds are often seen together and are a great example of a mutualistic relationship, meaning both species benefit from them being together. Black Rhinos are sensitive to ticks, flies and other pests and spend considerable amounts of time and energy trying to free themselves from the itchiness. But, this is where Oxpeckers come in as they feast on pests that have made themselves at home on the Black Rhino — the Black Rhino benefits from pest removal whilst the Oxpecker gets a good meal.
Oxpeckers can also act as a warning for the Black Rhino by screeching loudly when danger approaches. Black Rhinos are known to be aggressive and will charge at incoming threats, reaching speeds of 34 mph 55 km per hour. They are generally solitary and spend their time grazing but charge when threatened or panicked. They have bad eyesight so are quick to react and have been known to charge at perceived threats such as trees and other objects within their territory.
Black Rhino horns are considered medicinal and are used in traditional Chinese medicine. They are also collected as a symbol of wealth and status. The black horn is pure keratin , like human fingernails, and starts to show after about six years. Among terrestrial land mammals native to Asia, the Indian rhinoceros is second in size only to the Asian elephant.
It is also the second-largest living rhinoceros, behind only the white rhinoceros. The rich presence of blood vessels underneath the tissues in folds gives it the pinkish colour.
The folds in the skin increase the surface area and help in regulating the body temperature. The one-horned rhinoceros once ranged across the entire northern part of the Indian Subcontinent , along the Indus , Ganges and Brahmaputra River basins, from Pakistan to the Indian- Myanmar border, including Bangladesh and the southern parts of Nepal and Bhutan.
It may have also occurred in Myanmar, southern China and Indochina. It inhabits the alluvial grasslands of the Terai and the Brahmaputra basin. The species was present in northern Bihar and Oudh at least until as indicated in maps produced by Colonel Gentil. Jerdon wrote in This huge rhinoceros is found in the Terai at the foot of the Himalayas, from Bhutan to Nepal.
It is more common in the eastern portion of the Terai than the west, and is most abundant in Assam and the Bhutan Dooars. I have heard from sportsmen of its occurrence as far west as Rohilcund, but it is certainly rare there now, and indeed along the greater part of the Nepal Terai; Jelpigoree, a small military station near the Teesta River, was a favourite locality whence to hunt the Rhinoceros and it was from that station Captain Fortescue Blyth had seen of this species, Today, its range has further shrunk to a few pockets in southern Nepal, northern West Bengal, and the Brahmaputra Valley.
In the s, rhinos were frequently seen in the narrow plain area of Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. Today, they are restricted to habitats surrounded by human-dominated landscapes, so that they often occur in adjacent cultivated areas, pastures, and secondary forests. The Indian rhinoceros is regionally extinct in Pakistan. In , the total population was estimated to be 2, individuals, of which 2, lived in Indian protected areas: In , about 2, rhinos were estimated in Assam.
Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary shelters the highest density of Indian rhinos in the world — with 84 individuals in in an area of Adult male Indian rhinos are usually solitary. Groups consist of females with calves, or of up to six subadults. Such groups congregate at wallows and grazing areas.
They are foremost active in early mornings, late afternoons and at night, but rest during hot days. Dominant males tolerate males passing through their territories except when they are in mating season, when dangerous fights break out. Indian rhinos bathe regularly. The folds in their skin trap water and hold it even when they come back on land.
Indian rhinos have few natural enemies, except for tigers , which sometimes kill unguarded calves, but adult rhinos are less vulnerable due to their size. Mynahs and egrets both eat invertebrates from the rhino's skin and around its feet. Tabanus flies, a type of horse-fly , are known to bite rhinos.
The rhinos are also vulnerable to diseases spread by parasites such as leeches , ticks , and nematodes. Anthrax and the blood-disease septicemia are known to occur. Indian rhinoceros are grazers. Their diets consist almost entirely of grasses, but they also eat leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruits, and submerged and floating aquatic plants. They feed in the mornings and evenings. They use their semi-prehensile lips to grasp grass stems, bend the stem down, bite off the top, and then eat the grass. They tackle very tall grasses or saplings by walking over the plant, with legs on both sides and using the weight of their bodies to push the end of the plant down to the level of the mouth.
Mothers also use this technique to make food edible for their calves. They drink for a minute or two at a time, often imbibing water filled with rhinoceros urine. The Indian rhinoceros forms a variety of social groupings. Adult males are generally solitary, except for mating and fighting. Adult females are largely solitary when they are without calves. Mothers will stay close to their calves for up to four years after their birth, sometimes allowing an older calf to continue to accompany her once a newborn calf arrives.
Subadult males and females form consistent groupings, as well. Groups of two or three young males will often form on the edge of the home ranges of dominant males, presumably for protection in numbers. Young females are slightly less social than the males. Indian rhinos also form short-term groupings, particularly at forest wallows during the monsoon season and in grasslands during March and April. Groups of up to 10 rhinos may gather in wallows—typically a dominant male with females and calves, but no subadult males.
The Indian rhinoceros makes a wide variety of vocalisations. At least 10 distinct vocalisations have been identified: In addition to noises, the rhino uses olfactory communication. Adult males urinate backwards, as far as 3—4 m behind them, often in response to being disturbed by observers. Like all rhinos, the Indian rhinoceros often defecates near other large dung piles.
The Indian rhino has pedal scent glands which are used to mark their presence at these rhino latrines.
A rhinoceros commonly abbreviated to 'rhino', is one of any five extant species of odd-toed .. Dürer never saw the animal itself and, as a result, Dürer's Rhinoceros is a somewhat inaccurate depiction. Rhinoceros are depicted in the Chauvet. The Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), also called the greater one-horned rhinoceros from the Greek: ρινό- ("rhino-" — nose) and -κερος ("-keros" — horn of an animal) and Latin: "uni-" meaning single and "-cornis" meaning horn.
Males have been observed walking with their heads to the ground as if sniffing, presumably following the scent of females. In aggregations, Indian rhinos are often friendly. They will often greet each other by waving or bobbing their heads, mounting flanks, nuzzling noses, or licking. Rhinos will playfully spar, run around, and play with twigs in their mouths.
The amynodontids were hippopotamus -like in their ecology and appearance, inhabiting rivers and lakes, and sharing many of the same adaptations to aquatic life as hippos. Rhinoceros horns, unlike those of other horned mammals, which have a bony core , only consist of keratin , similar to human hair and nails. An adult black rhinoceros stands 1. If you prefer to suggest your own revision of the article, you can go to edit mode requires login. Najin is too old and issues with her legs make it impossible for her to support the weight of a mounting male; Fatu has a uterine condition that will likely keep her from breeding, according to experts.
Adult males are the primary instigators in fights. Fights between dominant males are the most common cause of rhino mortality, and males are also very aggressive toward females during courtship. Males will chase females over long distances and even attack them face-to-face. Unlike African rhinos, the Indian rhino fights with its incisors, rather than its horns. Captive males breed at five years of age, but wild males attain dominance much later when they are larger. In one five-year field study, only one rhino estimated to be younger than 15 years mated successfully. Captive females breed as young as four years of age, but in the wild, they usually start breeding only when six years old, which likely indicates they need to be large enough to avoid being killed by aggressive males.
Their gestation period is around In captivity, four rhinos are known to have lived over 40 years, the oldest living to be Sport hunting became common in the late s and early s. Reports from the middle of the 19th century claim that some British military officers in Assam individually shot more than rhinos. By , the population in Kaziranga had decreased to around 12 individuals.
Poaching for rhinoceros horn became the single most important reason for the decline of the Indian rhino after conservation measures were put in place from the beginning of the 20th century, when legal hunting ended.
From to , rhinos were poached in India. In India's Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary , 41 rhinos were killed in , virtually the entire population of the sanctuary. When poor farmers from the mid-hills moved to the Chitwan Valley in search of arable land, the area was subsequently opened for settlement, and poaching of wildlife became rampant. The Chitwan population has repeatedly been jeopardized by poaching; in alone, poachers killed 37 animals to saw off and sell their valuable horns.
Six methods of killing rhinos have been recorded: Poaching, mainly for the use of the horn in traditional Chinese medicine , has remained a constant and has led to decreases in several important populations.
Apart from this, serious declines in quality of habitat have occurred in some areas, due to:. Any catastrophic event such as disease, civil disorder, poaching, or habitat loss would have a devastating impact on the Indian rhino's status. However, small population of rhinos may be prone to inbreeding depression. The Indian and Nepalese governments have taken major steps towards Indian rhinoceros conservation, especially with the help of the World Wide Fund for Nature WWF and other non-governmental organizations.
In , all rhino hunting in India became prohibited. In , the country's first conservation law ensured the protection of rhinos and their habitat. In , Edward Pritchard Gee undertook a survey of the Chitwan Valley , and recommended the creation of a protected area north of the Rapti River and of a wildlife sanctuary south of the river for a trial period of 10 years. The dramatic decline of the rhino population and the extent of poaching prompted the government to institute the Gaida Gasti — a rhino reconnaissance patrol of armed men and a network of guard posts all over Chitwan.
Since , the population has recovered well and increased to animals in The Indian rhinoceros was initially difficult to breed in captivity.