50 Amazing Rhino Facts Your Kids Will Love (2023)

Mother rhinoceros walking with rhino calf.

World Rhino Day is celebrated on September 22nd, and it’s the perfect time to learn more about these giant mammals.

Here are some interesting facts about rhinos that your kids will love.

To help in the conservation efforts to protect this endangered species, head to rhinos.org.


50 Fun Facts About Rhinos

SIZE

  1. White Rhinos can weigh over 7,500 pounds! They are the largest rhino species. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk) Sumatran Rhinos are the smallest of all the species, and they can still weigh over 1,300 pounds. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. White Rhinos are the second largest land mammal in the world. Only elephants are bigger than White Rhinos. (Source: kids.nationalgeographic.com)
Large white rhino with giant horn.
White rhinos are the second largest land animal and can weigh over 7,500 pounds.
  1. Adult males can measure up to 13 feet long and 5 feet 9 inches tall. (Source: natgeokids.com) A rhino’s large head head can be 2.5 feet long and 1 foot wide! (Source: a-z-animal.com)

SPEED

  1. Rhinos can run up to 34 miles per hour. Better get out of the way! (Source: natgeokids.com)

LIFESPAN

  1. A rhino’s lifespan is 35-50 years depending on the species. (Source: natgeokids.com)

SPECIES

  1. The word rhinoceros comes from Greek, and it means “nose horn”. (Source: natgeokids.com) Many other animals have rhinoceros as part of their names, including the rhinoceros auklet, rhinoceros beetle, rhinoceros chameleon, rhinoceros cockroach, rhinoceros fish, rhinoceros hornbill, rhinoceros iguana, rhinoceros rat snake, rhino shrimp, and rhinoceros viper. All of them have some type of horn on their noses. (rhinos.org)
  1. There are five species of rhinos in the world: the Black Rhino and White Rhino who live in Africa, and the Greater One-Horned Rhino, the Sumatran Rhino, and the Javan Rhino who live in Asia. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
Rhinoceros running
Rhinos can run up to 34 miles per hour. Better get out of the way!
  1. The Sumatran Rhinoceros is the oldest of the living rhinos. It appeared 15 million years ago, and its closest relative is the extinct woolly rhinoceros. (Source: rhino.org)
  1. Rhinos are part of a group of mammals called “odd-toed ungulates”, meaning they have an odd number of toes on their feet.

HABITAT

  1. Rhinos mostly live in grassy plains, rainforests, and swamps in Africa and Asia. (Source: natgeokids.com) South Africa accounts for about half of the total Black Rhino population on the African continent and is home to the world’s largest population of White Rhinos. 

ENDANGERMENT

  1. Over 7,100 African Rhinos have been killed by illegal hunting in the last 10 years. Poachers use tranquilizing darts and remove the horns with chainsaws. The rhino often bleeds to death. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk) Their horns are ground up to be used as medicine, weapons, or as a status symbol, even though this is illegal. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. The Sumatran Rhinoceros, Javan Rhinoceros, and Black Rhinoceros are listed as “critically endangered”. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
Over 7,100 African Rhinos have been killed for their horns in the last 10 years.
  1. There are an estimated 76 Javan Rhinos and 34-47 Sumatran rhinos left on Earth. They are truly under threat of extinction in the wild. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. There is at least a 50% chance that these species could become extinct sometime this century, due to illegal poaching and habitat loss (Source: rhinos.org)
  1. There are only 2 remaining Northern White Rhinos and they are both females. (Source: a-z-animals.com)
  1. Javan Rhinos are only found at Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia. An active volcano is located 31 miles away from the park, and a devastating tsunami is predicted to occur there within the next 100 years. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. There are an estimated 15,942 White Rhinos left, and they are classified as “near threatened”. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. There are thought to be 4,014 Greater One-Horned Rhinos left in the wild, and their status is “vulnerable”. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
Rhino standing alone, eating grass.
White rhinos must eat up to 120 pounds of grass per day to sustain their huge bodies
  1. Rhinos have no natural predators. This is likely due to their size, strong horns, and thick skin. (Source: natgeokids.com) However, lions, tigers, leopards, hyenas, wild dogs, and crocodiles can sometimes kill young rhino calves. (Source: rhino.org) Humans are the biggest threat to rhinos.

APPEARANCE

  1. Black and White Rhinos are actually grey. The White Rhinoceros got its name from the Afrikaans word for wide (“wyd) which referred to its wide, square lip. Early English explorer thought they were saying “White” and so they named them White Rhinos, and named the other Black Rhino to differentiate. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. The only hair on a rhinoceroses is at the tip of the tail and on the ears.(Source: kids.britannica.com)

FAMILY GROUP

  1. A male rhino is called a “Bull”. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. A female rhinoceros is called a “Cow”. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. Baby rhinos are called “calves”. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
Mother rhino and baby rhino calf.
Baby rhinos are called “calves”. They stay with their mother for about two years.
  1. Rhino pregnancies last 15 – 16 months. The only animal with a longer gestation period is the elephant, who carries a fetus for close to 2 years. (Source: rhino.org)
  1. Young rhinos usually stay with their mothers until a sibling is born. By then they’re generally over two years old, almost fully grown, and can live on their own. (Source: kids.nationalgeographic.com)
  1. Most wild rhino calves never meet their fathers. After mating, adult male and female rhinos typically go their separate ways. (Source: rhino.org)
  1. Adult rhinos are mostly solitary and avoid each other. Female rhinos are more social than males. (Source: natgeokids.com)
  1. Males are solitary and territorial. They mark their area of land with poop. Each individual rhino’s dung smells unique. (Source: natgeokids.com)
  1. A group of rhinos is called a “Crash”. The white rhino in particular form crashes usually made up of a female and her calves or adult females. (Source: natgeokids.com)

HORNS

  1. Rhino horns are made of the same material as fingernails, called keratin. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. Javan and Greater One-Horned Rhinos only have one horn, and all of the other species have two horns. The front horn is usually much larger than the inner horn. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. Rhino horns grow continuously during a rhino’s lifetime. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
Rhino's face and horn up close.
A rhino’s horn is made of keratin, the same materials as fingernails and hair.
  1. The White Rhino’s horn can grow 7 centimeters every year. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. The longest White Rhino horn measured 4 feet, 9 inches! (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. Their horn can grow back just like a finger nail. (Source: kids.nationalgeographic.com)
  1. Black rhinos use the bigger of the two horns on their noses as weapons in a fight. (Source: kids.nationalgeographic.com)
  1. Greater One-Horned Rhinos use their teeth – not their horns – for defense. It attacks with long, sharp incisors and canine teeth on the lower jaw.
  1. Mother rhinos use their large horns to protect their babies from predators such as lions, crocodiles, and hyenas. (Source: kids.nationalgeographic.com)

SENSES

  1. Rhinos have terrible vision. They have such poor eyesight can’t see a person standing 100 feet away. (Source: natgeokids.com)
Rhinos have poor eyesight and can’t see an object 100 feet in front of them.
  1. Rhinos rely mostly on their strong sense of smell. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)

COMMUNICATION

  1. Rhinos communicate with each other by growling and trumpeting. They snort when they’re angry, make sneezing sounds to sound an alarm, scream when they are scared, and make a sound like “mmwonk” when they are feeling relaxed. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)

DUNG

  1. An adult white rhino can produce as much as 50 pounds of dung per day! (Source: rhino.org)
  1. Each Rhino’s dung smells unique. It can tell if a rhino is young or old, male or female, and more.
  1. Rhinos communicate through their poop and urine. They know what other rhinos are in the area because they can smell their waste. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)

BEHAVIOR

  1. Rhinos roll around the mud to keep themselves cool and protect themselves from insects and parasites. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
Rhinos coat their skin in mud to protect themselves from the sun, insects, and parasites.
  1. Some rhinos can swim very well. Asian rhinos are good swimmers and can cross rivers easily. African rhinos are not good swimmers and can drown in deep water. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. Rhinos are easily scared. When they feet threatened, their instinct is to charge. Sometimes they accidentally charge an object like a tree. (Source: natgeokids.com)

FOOD

  1. Rhinos are herbivores, eating mostly grass and leaves. They don’t eat meat. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)
  1. White rhinos must eat up to 120 pounds of grass per day to sustain their huge bodies. (Source: marylandzoo.org)

MISC.

  1. Rhinos are often seen with Oxpeckers, also known as “tick birds” perched on their back. They have a symbiotic relationship with these birds, which means they help each other. The birds live off the insects that live in the rhino’s thick skin, and the birds’ loud cries also help alert the rhino of potential danger. (Source: natgeokids.com)
  1. Rhinos have relatively small brains for their size, but they are intelligent animals. (Source: savetherhino.org)
  1. A fossil skull first thought to be that of a dragon was discovered in souther Austria, but it turned out to be from an extinct woolly rhinoceros of the last Ice Age. (Source: rhino.com)

Frequently Asked Questions About Rhinos

Are rhinos extinct?

Some species of rhinos are extinct, and others are still alive but endangered. There are only 2 remaining Northern White Rhinos and they are both females. (Source: a-z-animals.com)

There are an estimated 76 Javan Rhinos and 34-47 Sumatran rhinos left on Earth. They are truly under threat of extinction in the wild. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)

Are rhinos endangered?

Yes, the rhinoceros species is an endangered species due to illegal poaching and loss of habitat.

Over 7,100 African Rhinos have been killed by illegal hunting in the last 10 years. Poachers use tranquilizing darts and remove the horns with chainsaws. The rhino often bleeds to death. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk) Their horns are ground up to be used as medicine, weapons, or as a status symbol, even though this is illegal. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)

Three rhinos standing together in the grass.
Rhinos are critically endangered because of illegal poaching and habitat loss.

The Sumatran Rhinoceros, Javan Rhinoceros, and Black Rhinoceros are listed as “critically endangered”. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)

There is at least a 50% chance that these species could become extinct sometime this century, due to illegal poaching and habitat loss (Source: rhinos.org)

Javan Rhinos are only found at Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia. An active volcano is located 31 miles away from the park, and a devastating tsunami is predicted to occur there within the next 100 years. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)

There are an estimated 15,942 White Rhinos left, and they are classified as “near threatened”. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)

There are thought to be 4,014 Greater One-Horned Rhinos left in the wild, and their status is “vulnerable”. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)

Can rhinos swim?

Yes, some rhinos can swim very well. Asian rhinos are good swimmers and can cross rivers easily. African rhinos are not good swimmers and can drown in deep water.

Can rhinos jump?

No, rhinos cannot jump. There are a few other mammals that cannot jump either, including elephants, sloths, and hippos. They are too heavy.

Can rhinos see?

Rhinos have terrible vision. They have such poor eyesight can’t see a person standing 100 feet away. (Source: natgeokids.com) Rhinos rely mostly on their strong sense of smell. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)

Are rhinos herbivores?

Yes, rhinos are herbivores, eating mostly grass and leaves. They don’t eat meat. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk) White rhinos must eat up to 120 pounds of grass per day to sustain their huge bodies. (Source: marylandzoo.org)

Do rhinos eat meat?

No, rhinos are herbivores, eating mostly grass and leaves. They don’t eat meat. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk) White rhinos must eat up to 120 pounds of grass per day to sustain their huge bodies. (Source: marylandzoo.org)

Where do rhinos live?

Rhinos mostly live in grassy plains, rainforests, and swamps in Africa and Asia. (Source: natgeokids.com) South Africa accounts for about half of the total Black Rhino population on the African continent and is home to the world’s largest population of White Rhinos. 

What do rhinos eat?

Rhinos are herbivores, eating mostly grass and leaves. They don’t eat meat. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk) White rhinos must eat up to 120 pounds of grass per day to sustain their huge bodies. (Source: marylandzoo.org)

What is rhino horn made of?

Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same material as fingernails and hair. Rhino horns grow continuously during a rhino’s lifetime. The White Rhino’s horn can grow 7 centimeters every year. The longest White Rhino horn measured 4 feet, 9 inches! (Source: www.wwf.org.uk). Their horn can grow back just like a finger nail. (Source: kids.nationalgeographic.com)

What is rhino horn used for?

Over 7,100 African Rhinos have been killed by illegal hunting in the last 10 years. Their horns are ground up to be used as medicine to “cure” a number of diseases, weapons like specialized daggers, or as a status symbol, even though this is illegal. (Source: www.wwf.org.uk)

What do rhinos use their horns for?

Rhinos use their horns to for digging, foraging, breaking branches, and protecting their babies from predators such as lions, crocodiles, and hyenas. (Source: kids.nationalgeographic.com) Greater One-Horned Rhinos use their teeth – not their horns – for defense. It attacks with long, sharp incisors and canine teeth on the lower jaw.

To help rhinos and support conservation efforts, head to rhinos.org.


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