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The Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is also called greater one-horned rhinoceros and Asian one-horned rhinoceros and belongs to the Rhinocerotidae family. Listed as a vulnerable species, the large mammal is primarily found in parts of north-eastern India and in protected areas in the Terai of Nepal, where populations are confined to the riverine grasslands in the foothills of the Himalayas. Typically weighing between 1,600 to 3,500 kg (3,500 to 7,700 lb), it is the fourth largest land animal.

The Indian rhinoceros once ranged throughout the entire stretch of the Indo-Gangetic Plain but excessive hunting reduced their natural habitat drastically. Today, about 3,000 rhinos live in the wild, 2,000 of which are found in India's Assam alone.

The rhino's single horn is present in both males and females, but not on newborn young. The black horn, like human fingernails, is pure keratin and starts to show after about 6 years. In most adults, the horn reaches a length of about 25 cm (9.8 in), but has been recorded up to 57.2 cm (22.5 in) in length. The nasal horn is slightly back-curved with a base of about 18.5 cm (7.3 in) by 12 cm (4.7 in) that rapidly narrows until a smooth, even stem part begins about 55 mm (2.2 in) above base. In captive animals, the horn is frequently worn down to a thick knob.

Indian Rhinoceros
One horned Rhino
Indian Rhino Grazing

Range

In patches over the indian sub continent (india, nepal, bangladesh) in grasslands.

Size

Height: 147-185cm (4.82-6.07ft)

Weight: 1,600-2,130kgs (3,500-4700 lbs)

Length: 310-380cm (10.2-12.5ft)

Diet

Grass

Weapons and Traits

Horn, can run up to 34mph in short bursts, has thick skin which is hard to penetrate.

Battle Status

On hold will compete against the Asian Elephant

The Indian rhinoceros has thick, silver-brown skin, which becomes pinkish near the large skin folds that cover its body. Its upper legs and shoulders are covered in wart-like bumps. It has very little body hair, aside from eyelashes, ear-fringes and tail-brush. Males develop thick neck-fold

One-horned rhinos once ranged across the entire northern part of the Indian subcontinent, along the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra River basins, from Pakistan to the Indian-Burmese border, including parts of Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. They may have also existed in Myanmar, southern China and Indochina.They prefer the alluvial plain grasslands of the Terai and Brahmaputra basin. As a result of habitat destruction and climatic changes their range has gradually been reduced so that by the 19th century, they only survived in the Terai grasslands of southern Nepal, northern Uttar Pradesh, northern Bihar, northern Bengal, and in the Brahmaputra Valley of Assam.

Rhinos are mostly solitary creatures, with the exception of mothers and calves and breeding pairs, although they sometimes congregate at bathing areas. They have home ranges, the home ranges of males being usually 2 to 8 km2 (0.77 to 3.1 sq mi) large and overlapping each other. Dominant males tolerate males passing through their territory except when they are in mating season, when dangerous fights break out. They are active at night and early morning. They spend the middle of the day wallowing in lakes, rivers, ponds, and puddles to cool down. They are very good swimmers. Over 10 distinct vocalizations have been recorded.

Indian rhinos have few natural enemies, except for tigers who sometimes kill unguarded calves, but adult rhinos are less vulnerable due to their size. Mynahs and egrets both eat invertebrates from the rhino's skin and around its feet. Tabanus flies, a type of horse-fly are known to bite rhinos. The rhinos are also vulnerable to diseases spread by parasites such as leeches, ticks, and nematodes. Anthrax and the blood-disease septicemia are known to occur.

They can run at speeds of up to 55 km/h (34 mph) for short periods of time and are excellent swimmers. They have excellent senses of hearing and smell but relatively poor eyesight.

The Indian rhinoceros is a grazer. Their diet consists almost entirely of grasses, but the rhino is also known to eat leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruits and submerged and floating aquatic plants.

Feeding occurs during the morning and evening. The rhino uses its prehensile lip to grasp grass stems, bend the stem down, bite off the top, and then eat the grass. With very tall grasses or saplings, the rhino will often walk over the plant, with its legs on both sides, using the weight of its body to push the end of the plant down to the level of the mouth. Mothers also use this technique to make food edible for their calves. They drink for a minute or two at a time, often imbibing water filled with rhinoceros urine.

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