33 Surprising And Lesser-Known Facts About Black Rhinoceros

The black rhinoceros is one of the rarest large mammals in Africa and you have to be in the right place at the right time and either extremely lucky or skilled to see one. Black rhinoceros are just as fascinating as they are rare and in this post, I have collected 33 of the most interesting and surprising facts about them.

  • Black rhinoceros are known to be aggressive and have unpredictable personalities.
  • Black rhinoceros are about half the size of white rhinoceros.
  • Black rhinoceros have a hooked upper lip. This is one of the easiest ways to tell them apart from white rhinoceros who have a wide, flat mouth.
  • Black rhinoceros have a smaller and shorter head than white rhinoceros.
  • Black rhinoceros have small, round ears.
  • Black rhinoceros have 2 horns. The front horn is larger than the other horn but the difference is not as significant as with the white rhino, whose front horn is much larger than its other horn.
  • The scientific name of black rhinoceros is Diceros bicornis.
  • Black rhinoceros belong to the Rhinocerotidae family of animals.
  • The lifespan of black rhinoceros is 50 years in nature and 45 years in captivity.
  • The gestation period of female black rhinoceros is 14-15.5 months.
  • Female black rhinoceros give birth to 1 calf at a time.
  • At birth, a black rhinoceros calf weighs 66 to 99 pounds (30 to 45 kg).
  • Black rhinoceros are very rare but can be seen in most of sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The largest populations of black rhinoceros are found in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.
  • The primary habitats of black rhinoceros are savanna, desert, and shrubland.
  • Black rhinoceros mostly eat leaves, branches, twigs, berries, and fruits.
  • Black rhinoceros can eat over 100 different types of plants. They have an extremely strong stomach and can actually eat some poisonous plants that almost all other herbivores stay away from.
  • You can tell black and white rhinoceros apart by looking at their dung. White rhinoceros eat grass almost exclusively and black rhinoceros have a much broader diet so their dung will have small, broken branches and twigs in it.
  • Unlike its white cousin, the black rhinoceros is a solitary animal that lives on its own. They only seek out other black rhinos during mating season.
  • Female black rhinoceros can occasionally get together and form temporary groups or even adopt calves that have been abandoned or lost their mother.
  • A group of rhinoceros is called a crash.
  • Black rhinoceros weighs between 1,550 to 3,100 lb (about 700 to 1,400 kg).
  • Black rhinoceros measures 4.6 to 5.9 ft (1.4 to 1.8 m) in height and 9.2 to 12.5 ft (2.8 to 3.8 m) in length.
  • Black rhinoceros’ tails measure about 2 feet (about 60 cm) in length.
  • Black rhinoceros can run up to 34 mph (55 kph).
  • Black rhinoceros do not have many natural enemies due to their size, their dangerous horns, and their thick skin.
  • Rhinoceros have extremely thick skin. It is 0.8 inches (20 mm) thick on the shoulders and 2 inches (50 mm) thick on the forehead. The thick skin provides excellent protection from predators since it is difficult to penetrate even with sharp claws and teeth.
  • Lions often hunt as a group and when enough lions hunt together, they can hunt and kill black rhinoceros.
  • Black rhinoceros calves are at higher risk of being preyed on than adults since they are smaller and easier to hunt.
  • Crocodiles may sometimes try to snap a black rhinoceros calf if the opportunity strikes.
  • There are significantly fewer black rhinoceros left in the wild than white rhinoceros.
  • The conservation status of black rhinoceros is critically endangered.
  • According to IUCN, there are estimated to be 3,142 black rhinoceros left in the wild in Africa.

Rhinoceros are completely mesmerizing creatures and in the right surroundings, they look almost like prehistoric animals or dinosaurs. Take a look at this page where you can find all our posts about black and white rhinoceros in which we dive much deeper into some of the facts listed in this post.

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