One-horned Rhinos in kaziranga National park, Photo credit: Debabrata Bandyopadhyay

Wildlife enthusiasts love to flaunt their knowledge about different species. If you are from the same group or wish to be a part of it, then have a look at the top interesting facts about the one-horned rhinoceros and sharpen your knowledge base.

Rhino horn is not a bone but a compacted mass of hairs

Keratin is the substance that makes the horn of rhinos. It is the same material that is used in making of human hairs and fingernails. So there is no bone in the rhino horn; rather, it is just a trampled bunch of fibers or hairs.

Teeth are the weapon and not horn

The great one-horned rhino use their sharp incisors and canine teeth of the lower jaw to defend themselves from the predators. They don’t use their horn to slash off the enemy.

Don’t go on the size, they are very fast!

Irrespective of their weight and size, it has been observed that rhinos can run at a speed of 30 -40 miles per hour. Figures say that the speed of an Olympic runner is around 15 miles per hour. Thus, a rhino can outrun a human!

The thick but sensitive skin

The skin of the rhinoceros is highly sensitive to sun burn and insect bites. Therefore they love to roll in mud all time as it keeps their skin cool and protects it from sun burn and insect bites. However, this nowhere changes the fact that their skin in very thick.

Perfect hearing and smelling sense, but poor eye sight

Owing to their poor eyesight it is difficult for the rhinos to see a man standing at a distance of mere hundred feet. However, the man needs to stand still as any little moment will make the rhino alert. Rhinos are blessed with sharp hearing and smelling senses; thus, they can get you by your odor.

Symbiotic relationship with bird

Specific bird species eat tick and insects from the great one-horned rhino. Myna is one such bird that shares this symbiotic relationship. In addition to this, when the bird sense any danger it creates commotion to warn the rhino.

They are not solitary creatures

Rhinos love to live with their extended families groups. If you visit a national park to witness this wildlife species, you will always find them wandering in groups.

Rhino horn is believed to be an Asian medicine

The horn of the rhino is believed to have healing elements. Therefore, the powder of the rhino horn is used to cure fever. However, it is illegal to use rhino horn as this practice leads to their brutal hunting.

The above mentioned are the interesting facts, but there is also a gloomy reality about the one-horned rhinoceros. These majestic animals are an endangered species. The authorities are taking considerable steps for their preservation. Various wildlife sanctuaries and national parks have been established for the same. The famous Kaziranga National Park, India is one such reserve that is known for the conservation of this endangered species. Their existence is important for maintaining an ecological balance of the planet.