Great one-horned rhinoceros

(Rhinoceros unicornis)

After the elephants, the Indian rhinoceros is regarded as the second-largest land mammal in the world. The creased plate-like skin folds covering their strong bodies like armour are characteristic for these impressive solitary animals.

CHARACTERISTICS

Range
Asia, formerly throughout Indochina, today only in protected areas of India (West Bengal, Assam, Uttar Pradesh), in the southern Nepal and Bhutan

Habitat
prefers wetlands and grasslands

Diet
up to 150 kg grasses, aquatic plants, leaves and shoots daily

 

Size
170 to 190 cm (shoulder height)

Weight
2000 to 3000 kg

Gestation period
15 months

Population
Endangered, approx. 2500 animals

Thick "skin"
The wrinkled skin, which virtually lies in "armour plates" is up to 4 cm thick. Concealed underneath is a layer of fat up to 5 cm.

Placebo effect
Unfortunately still today, the horn is regarded as a miracle cure and is more expensive than gold on the illegal market. Yet it consists only of keratin - like our fingernails and hair. Trade is banned internationally.

Did you know that...
... great one-horned rhinoceroses can gain up 2-3 tons in weight - a VW bus T5 weighs that much,
... their horn grows a lifelong and weighs about 3 kg
... and that they see very poorly?
... rhinos have after elephants with 15 months the longest gestation period among land mammals - they only receive offspring every 4-5 years.