West African Black Rhino Descriptive Essay

Physical description

The black rhino is smaller than the white rhino, although adults can still reach 1.5 metres in height and weigh in at 1.4 tonnes.

The species is distinguished from the white rhino by a prehensile upper lip (hence the alternative name of hook-lipped rhino), which it uses to feed on twigs of woody plants and a variety of herbaceous plants. They have a particular liking for acacias.

The front horn is the longer of the two horns, averaging 50cm in length.
 

Life cycle

Adult black rhinos are mostly solitary. Mother and daughters may stay together for long periods of time, while a female without offspring may join up with a neighbouring female.

Although females reach sexual maturity at 4-5 years, they do not have their first calf until they are 6.5-7 years old. Males need to wait until they are 10-12 years old before they can claim a territory and mate. Black rhinos may reach 40-50 years of age.

During courtship, conflicts over a female may result in the death of one of the competing males.

Breeding occurs throughout the year. The gestation period is between 419 and 478 days, with an average interval of 2.5-3.5 years between calves. Black rhino calves begin to wean at about 2 months of age.

The Black Rhinoceros Essay

Black Rhinoceros, otherwise known as Diceros bicornis, is an herbivorous mammal native to regions of eastern and central Africa. An adult rhino generally stands at 1.43 – 1.60 metres high at the shoulders and weighs 800-1400 pounds. Two keratin horns can be found at the skull, which they use for defense, digging up roots, breaking branches, and intimidation. In addition, they have a pointed mouth, which is used to grasp branches and leaves, and coarse thick-layered skin that protects them from jagged rocks, sharp grasses, and thorns. Because rhinos have terrible eyesight, they often rely more on hearing and smell to identify their targets. They are typically solitary animals and have a reputation for being extremely aggressive. They browse for food in the morning and evening and spend the hotter parts of the day wallowing in the mud and sleeping in the shade.

Rhinoceros’ natural habitat is the savanna. Savannas are a type of grassland biome and are located in Africa, Australia, southern Asia, and parts of South America. Temperatures and precipitation vary drastically depending on the season – in the dry season, temperatures may rise up to 48ºC and have as little as ten cm of rain while in the wet season, savannas are warm and may receive as much as 120 cm of precipitation. Because of the lack of water, vegetation and wildlife is limited. Some examples of savanna vegetation include shrubs, acacia trees, and wild grasses. These trees and grasses have adapted and become accustomed to life with little water and scorching temperatures. Savannas are also the home to numerous land animals such as elephants, zebras, rhinos, buffalos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles, antelopes, kangaroos, and ostriches. These animals must rely on their speed and camouflage in order to survive as the vast flat open areas provide little protection and means of escape.

During the early 1900s, several thousand rhinoceros inhabited the land of Africa. Approximately a century later, in 1990, that number had decreased to twenty-five hundred. In July 2006, the World Conservation Union declared that one of the four subspecies of the black rhino, the West African Black Rhino, had become extinct. The population of black rhinos...

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