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Black Rhinoceros 17Black Rhinoceros 17St. Louis Zoo in St. Louis, Missouri

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CLASS: Mammalia (Mammals)

ORDER: Perissodactyla (Odd-toed ungulate, “Ungulate” = hooved mammal)

FAMILY: Rhinocerotidae (Rhinoceros)


White Rhinos  

Southern White Rhinoceros- Ceratotherium simum

Northern White Rhinoceros- Ceratotherium cottoni 

Sumatran Rhinos (aka Hairy Rhino and Asian Two-Horned Rhino)Dicerorhinus sumatrensis

Black Rhinos- Diceros bicornis

Javan Rhinos- Rhinoceros unicornis

Greater One-Horned Rhinos (aka Indian Rhino)Rhinoceros sondaicus 

Black Rhinoceros 6Black Rhinoceros 6Kansas City Zoo in Kansas City, Missouri

LIFE SPAN: Rhinos can live to be 40 years old

HABITAT: Black Rhinos and White Rhinos live in the grasslands and floodplains of Eastern and Southern Africa. Greater One-Horned Rhinos inhabit the swamps and rain forests of Northern India and Southern Nepal. Sumatran and Javan Rhinos can only be found in small areas of Malaysian and Indonesian swamps and rain forests.

DIET: Rhinoceroses are herbivores (vegetation eaters). The food they eat varies by species due to the different shapes of the rhinos’ snouts. Black Rhinos, for example, are able to eat leaves and fruit  from trees or bushes thanks to their long lips. White Rhinos, however, eat grass as their flat-shaped snout lets them get closer to the ground.

Indian Rhinoceros 1Indian Rhinoceros 1Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska


A male rhino is called a bull

A female rhino is called a cow

A young rhino is called a calf

A group of rhinos is called a crash

The word “rhinoceros” comes from the Greek words rhino (nose) and ceros (horn).

Rhinos have been hunted nearly to extinction largely because their horns are wrongfully thought to have healing properties and are used in folk medicine.

Rhino horns are made from keratin- the same protein substance that makes up hair and fingernails.

The White Rhinoceros is the second largest land mammal- second only to the African Elephant.

Rhinos spend most of their time grazing, and they only sleep during the hottest parts of the day. On the rare occasions when they aren't eating, rhinos can be found taking a mud bath. These mud baths not only help to cool off the rhinos, they also help protect them from bugs, and provide them with a natural sunblock.

Black Rhinoceros 1Black Rhinoceros 1Kansas City Zoo in Kansas City, Missouri


According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The conservation status of the rhino is as follows:

Black RhinosSumatran Rhinos and Javan Rhinos are critically endangered, which means  that they are facing a very high risk of becoming extinct in the wild. It is estimated that there are 5,055 Black Rhinos, less than 100 Sumatran Rhinos and fewer than 45 Javan Rhinos remaining in the wild.

Greater One-Horned Rhinos are vulnerable which means that they may become endangered if their circumstances don’t improve. Their population is increasing as there are now an estimated 3,333 Greater One-Horned Rhinos in the wild. In comparison, the total population estimate in 2007, according to the IUCN, was 2,575 Greater One-Horned Rhinos in the wild.

White Rhinos are near threatened which means they may be considered threatened with extinction in the near future. Southern White Rhinos have increased in population, and there are an estimated 20,405 Southern White Rhinos in the wild. On the other hand, the Northern White Rhino is considered to be extinct in the wild.

Black Rhinoceros 15Black Rhinoceros 15St. Louis Zoo in St. Louis, Missouri


Educate yourself about Rhinos and their circumstances by reviewing the materials presented below in the Resources section and other materials you may be able to find on your own.

Post messages on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and send emails to your family and friends expressing your concern for the plight of the Rhinos and encouraging them to become involved as well.

Write letters to your elected officials in Washington DC and to leaders in nations where Rhinos live explaining why the conservation of Rhinos is important to you and encouraging these officials to work to help keep Rhinos from ever becoming extinct in the wild.

Help to improve the environment around you and around the world by working to reduce, recycle, and reuse. This will help eliminate waste and will greatly improve the world in which we all live.

And when you shop at Joe’s Cowtown Photos, you can designate Rhino-centric programs and initiatives such as the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF)the World Wildlife Fund’s Adopt a Rhino Program, Save the Rhino, and the African Wildlife Foundation’s Rhino Conservation Projects as the beneficiary of the charitable portion of your purchase. (For more information on Joe’s Cowtown Photos charitable giving program, Cowtown Photos Cares!, click here.)

White Rhinoceros 1White Rhinoceros 1Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha Nebraska


International Anti-Poaching Foundation Page

Save the Rhino Page

Live Science’s Facts About Rhino’s Page

The World Wildlife Fund’s Adopt an African Rhino Page

Active Wild’s Rhino Page

National Geographic’s Rhino Facts Page

The African Wildlife Foundation’s Rhino Page

The IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species Black Rhino Page

The IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species Sumatran Rhino Page

The IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species Javan Rhino Page

The IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species Greater One-Horned Rhino Page

The IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species White Rhino Page

The White House Page

The United States Senate Page

The United States House of Representatives Page

Black Rhinoceros 3Black Rhinoceros 3Kansas City Zoo in Kansas City, Missouri


The information provided in this Animal Info page was compiled by Joe Hoffman (St. Pius X Elementary School Class of 1986 and Founder/Owner of Joe’s Cowtown Photos) and was proof-read and edited by Anita Striegel (Retired 8th Grade Teacher from St. Pius X Elementary School, Joe’s former teacher!)


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