This might go without saying, but here at Stuffed Safari we love animals. Not just the stuffed ones either. Everyone who works here has at least one pet, and most of us have more than one. When we’re not busy selling stuffed animals, we love to learn about the real-life counterparts to the plush toys we sell. We thought that you, our readers, might find it interesting to explore some interesting facts about some of our favorite animals too. That’s why we decided to start The Wild Side. It’s a blog series that gives captivating educational information about some of our favorite animals.
This week, we will be exploring the African rhinoceros. This post is packed full of African rhinoceros information. Native to the grasslands and open savanna of Africa, these land-dwelling mammals are one of the most beloved and recognized animals in the world. Divided into two species, the black rhino (Diceros bicornis) and the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum), they may look like prehistoric creatures. And while they do date back millions of years to the Miocene era, they are still around today. The live mainly in South Africa, but have been reintroduced to other areas such as Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.
These beefy behemoths can weigh anywhere from one to two tons. That’s 2,000 to 4,000 pounds! Both the black and white rhino have two long pointed horns made of keratin—the same protein found in hair, fingernails, and animal hooves. They use these horns to for several behavioral functions, including foraging, digging, breaking branches, and defending themselves from predators.
As herbivores, they eat only plants. White rhinos typically graze on grass, while the black rhinos prefer to eat the foliage of trees or bushes. In ideal conditions, rhinos can live anywhere from 35 to 40 years. Female rhinos carry their babies for a 16-month gestation period. While rhinos have very poor eyesight, their other sense of hearing and smell are quite good.
A group of rhinoceros is called a herd or a crash. I prefer the second one, personally. Rhinos can only see about thirty feet in front of them, but at a full gallop, they can reach speeds of 30 miles per hour. I suppose when you weigh two tons and have two huge bony horns on your forehead, you don’t have to worry about what you might crash into. See? It’s a much better name for these amazing creatures.
Rhinos have thick, protective skin that ranges anywhere from 1.5cm-5cm in thickness. Formed from layers of collagen positioned in a lattice structure gives them a tough, natural armor to protect them from predators. Unfortunately, rhinos only have one natural predator: humans. Part of this is due to the demand of their horns. These gentle creatures are hunted for their horns, and sold on the black market for alleged medicinal purposes. In addition, as human populations and cities grow, the rhino’s habitat become smaller or are destroyed altogether.
In the face of many hardships, the rhinoceros’ population carries on in the African savanna. Despite not being native to North America, rhinos are quite popular. It’s one of the reasons we at Stuffed Safari carry so many different Rhino Stuffed Animals. Take a look at our selection and bring home a rhino plush companion of your very own.
I hope you enjoyed this step into The Wild Side with this African rhinoceros information. Subscribe to our blog to explore more animals in the future. Feel free to leave any comments or questions in the comment section below. And, as always, thank you for reading.