FANDOM


White Rhinoceros

Amongst the most charismatic and recognizable of Africa’s mega-fauna, the white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is the largest of the five rhinoceros species and one of the world’s biggest land animals, second only to the African and Asian elephant in size. Unlike its common name suggests, this enormous, virtually hairless mammal is not, in fact, white, but slate-blue to yellowish-brown in color. The ‘white’ likely comes from a mistranslation of the Afrikaner word for ‘wide’, referring to the animal’s wide mouth. Indeed, this species is often called the ‘square-lipped rhinoceros’ because of it's broad, square, rather than the pointed, flexible upper lip, differentiating it from the black rhino (Diceros bicornis). The white rhinoceros can also be distinguished from its African cousin by its longer skull, less sharply defined forehead and more pronounced shoulder hump. Like the black rhinoceros and Sumatran rhinoceros, this species has two horns, the front being longer and averaging 60 cm in length, but occasionally reaching up to an enormous 1.5 m. The white rhinoceros also consists of two subspecies: the southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) and the much rarer northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni).

Roles

Gallery

Books

See Also

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.