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White Rhinoceros

Ceratotherium simum


  • Southern Africa


  • Savanna & grasslands


  • Grass


The horns on white rhinos are more than decorative. Rhinos use their horns for many different functions:

  • Finding a Mate: Male rhinos use their horns in displays to scare off competing males that want their territory or want to mate with the same female. If the threat display does not work, the horns are used to cause serious wounds to the opponents.
  • Raising Baby: A newborn rhino has no horn, so it depends entirely on its mother to protect it from predators for the first few years of its life as its horn grows. A rhino mother also uses her horn to physically guide the rhino calf into safe areas.
  • Horn of Plenty: If there are not enough grasses available, rhinos use their horns to dig for roots and shorter grasses. When desperate for water, rhinos dig in dry riverbeds to find an underground supply.

To see the other ways in which a rhinos use their horn, visit them at the Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve.

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