Florida Museum of Natural History

Rhinos

rhino Rhinos retain the primitive perissodactyl character of 3 toes. Genera living today are all large with limbs that are well adapted for bearing the weight of heavy bodies. However, some extinct rhinos were pony-sized or smaller. Unlike horses, who live in groups, rhinos are solitary animals. Despite their heavy appearance, rhinos are good runners with excellent turning ability. They all have horns on their skulls.

Rhinos first appeared in Africa 25 million years ago. They lived in North America until about 5 million years ago, and were common in Europe and Asia as recently as 10,000 years ago.

Today rhinos live only in Africa and parts of Asia. They live in a variety of tropical and subtropical forest and grassland habitats.

Like many other wild animals today, rhinos are threatened by extinction as human populations increase and spread into their habitats. They also are threatened by people who hunt them for their horns. In parts of Asia, some people believe that their horns, made of stiffened hair without any bony core, can be used as medicine to make aging men virile.

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