The One-horned Rhinos
The Indian Rhinoceros, internationally known as the Great Indian One Horned
Rhinoceros is a colossally built beast of truly mammoth proportions that is
next only to the Indian Elephant. Though it could once be found throughout
India in the grassy flood plains of the Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers,
it is now confined to the banks of the Brahmaputra, for its natural habitat
of marshes, grassland and swamps has constantly been turned into farmland.
The Indian rhinoceros ("rhino") has one horn, and it has skin
with loose folds which make it appear armored. A single One -Horned Rhino
are about 1.5 to 1.8 m tall. The female Indian rhino weighs 1600 kg (3500
lb); male: 2200 kg (4800 lb).
Zoological Name :
Major Sites :
The one-horned rhino is solitary in nature and spends hours wallowing in
mud and water, or feeding on grasses. It feeds mostly in the morning and
evening. It generally restricts its movements within an area of 5 sq km,
though the males may sometimes move further in search of mates. One of their
special features is the long noisy fights that occur between a male and a
female at the time of courtship. Violent encounters ensue in a series of
displays and postures involving curling of lips, and snorts and grunts.
Rhinos can be amazingly agile despite their bulk and growth, and can charge
at speeds of 4 to 8 km per hour.
Habitat & Diets
Indian rhino has been recorded from a number of habitats, including marshy
lowland and reedbeds; tall grass or bush with patches of savanna and
occasional streams and swamps; thick tree and scrub riverine forest; and
dry, mixed forest. Some of this ecological flexibility may be due to
seasonal preferences and some to pressure from development which forces the
rhino into suboptimal habitat.
The Indian rhino mainly eats grass, reeds and twigs. It uses its prehensile
upper lip to browse tall grass and shrubs. It can fold the tip away when
feeding on short grass. Woody browse comprises about 20% of its diet during
the winter. In some localities it feeds in cultivated areas.
Indian Rhinos & Conservation
The population of the one-horned rhino has decreased due to destruction of
their natural habitat as well as uncontrolled and merciless poaching, for
the mythical aphrodisiacal properties of its horn, as well as mythical
medicinal properties of other parts of its body. One rhino horn can fetch as
much as 20,000 US dollars, and even more in the international markets.
Indian Wildlife Authorities are now making a determined effort at rhino
conservation. Translocation Projects are under operation, and the survival
of the rhinos at all odds is the final goal. The Great Indian One Horned
Rhinoceros can be found in the national reserves of