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Temporal range: Eocene–Present
Rhinoceros species of different genera; from top-left, clockwise: White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Superfamily: Rhinocerotoidea
Family: Rhinocerotidae
Owen, 1845
Type genus
Linnaeus, 1758
Extant and subfossil genera

Fossil genera, see text

Rhinoceros range

A rhinoceros (rhino for short) is any animal in the family Rhinocerotidae. They are in the order Perissodactyla, or odd-toed ungulates. There are five living species. Two of these species are native to Africa. Three of these species are also native to Southern parts of Asia.


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Sizes of the different rhinoceros species.

All five rhinoceros species are native to Africa or Asia. The two species in Africa are the White rhinoceros and the Black rhinoceros. The three species in Asia (including islands of Indonesia) are the Javan rhinoceros, Sumatran rhinoceros, and Indian rhinoceros.

A white rhinoceros and its calf.

The rhinoceros is a herbivore. Its favourite food is plants, branches and bushes (if it is a browser species), or grass (if it is a grazer species).

Rhinoceroses have a large horn on the nose. Their horns are not like those of other horned mammals: the rhinoceros' horn is made of keratin packed together very tightly.

The rhinoceroses can weigh up to 2,000 kilograms (4,400 lb) and be up to 375 centimetres (12.30 ft) tall.

Rhinoceros and humans

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Only the white rhinoceros is not in critical danger of becoming extinct. They are protected, but hunted mainly by poachers, for their horns. The horns are used in Asian medicine, similar to elephants and tigers, and for dagger handles in Yemen and Oman. Loss of habitat is also a danger to rhinos. Governments have made logging their habitat and poaching illegal.

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Other websites

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