SOUTHERN WHITE RHINOCEROS
Range or distribution: Eastern and Southern Africa.
White rhinos live in savannas and grasslands; swamps when is dry season Herbivores. Graze on short grass and low savanna bushes. Lifespan: 25 to 30 years in the wild; up to 45 years in zoos. Size: Length 13 to 17 feet.Height 5-7 feet. Weight 3200 to 8000 lbs.
Thick armor-like skin for moving through thorny shrubs. Wide, square mouth with wide, flexible lips to “mow” the grass. Their short legs, long head that almost reaches the ground, and wide mouth are used in conjunction with sideways head movement to eat huge amounts of grass. Rhinos have no canines and front teeth. They have excellent hearing. They will turn their ears to detect sound; the ears move independently and are generally in motion. Acute sense of smell. The olfactory pathways used for smelling are larger than their entire brain.
Behavior: They often roll in the mud which serves as both insect repellent and sunscreen. Because they are very nearsighted, they often charge when scared. Dominant bulls are usually loners White rhinos tend to form small family groups in a loosely defined territory. Adult males are territorial.
Mostly during the day, spending ½ day feeding, 1/3 day resting and the rest walking, alerting, or splashing. They are most active at dawn and dusk. A high stride is normally the fastest pace at 18 mph. They have the ability to gallop 25 to 30 mph.
A white rhino drinks twice a day if water is available, but can survive five days without in the dry season. Dominant males use dung and urine to mark territories.; there maybe 20 to 30 discharges to mark a certain territory.
They eat grass most of the day, resting during the midday heat. Southern white rhinos can go a couple of days without drinking water.
As pure grazers, white rhinos are of major importance in the southern African grassland ecosystem. Seed dispersion and prevention of invasion by woody plants are important parts of their role in grasslands.
Rhinos have a massive hump of muscle on their necks, to hold up a large head that can weigh 800 to 1000 pounds. The rhino does not have real horns and the horns are not connected to the skull grow from the skin and is made up of keratin fibers.
Rhinos generally have no natural predatory for their massive, hard skin; however, juveniles may be preyed upon by large carnivores. Rhinos are perissodactyls and have three toes. The middle finger carries most of its weight.
Reproduction: gestation varies from 17 to 18 months. Females reproduce every 2,5 to 5 years. Their young ones stay up to 3 years of life.
SA is home to approx. 80% of the world’s white rhinos. Females of white rhinos are more social than black rhinoceros. Sometimes females, their young, and older young congregate in groups of up to 14, named crash.
The southern white rhino was also once endangered. In the late 1890s, there were fewer than 100 individuals; but today, a more healthy population of over 20,000 survive in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. People interested in this rhino have helped save it by creating sanctuaries and patrolling areas where rhinos live.
Since the 1970s, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has welcomed more than 90 southern white rhinos and leads the world in successfully breeding white rhinos.The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists this rhinoceros as Near Threatened.
There are only 3 northern white rhinos as of November 2015. Two females and a male live on a conservancy in Kenya. Like all rhinos, northern white rhinos are hunted for their horns. Horns can be ground into powder and added to popular medicines or displayed as a status symbol.The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists this rhinoceros as Critically Endangered.