Black Rhino Vs. White Rhino : How To Differentiate The Two Rhino Species? Each person creates a personal list of the dream animals they want to see on an African safari, and the rhino is typically on it. You’ll always remember the first time you saw a rhino in the wild. You will feel honored and humbled by the fact that you even managed to catch a glimpse of one of the charismatic and critically endangered African mammals. After all, there are fewer than 3,000 black rhinos and 20,000 white rhinos left in the wild. Which one of the remaining 23,000 wild African rhinos have you just seen? Was it a white rhino or a black rhino?
Both seasoned naturalists and amateurs alike would be excused for conflating these two stocky, horned creatures. Black and white rhinos may share many characteristics, but they also differ significantly in terms of their appearance, habitats, and behavior.
BLACK RHINO VS. WHITE RHINO: PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
Probably the most noticeable similarity between these two Rhinocerotidae family members is their physical appearance. They do, however, vary in size quite significantly. Black rhinos typically weigh between 900 and 1.350 kg, whereas their counterpart is almost twice as large and weighs between 1.800 and 2.500 kg. After elephants, white rhinos are the second-largest land mammal.
Their upper lip is another distinguishing feature of their appearance, aside from size. In actuality, the name “white rhino” has nothing to do with the animal’s color. The word “weit” is an Afrikaans derivation that means “wide,” and it refers to the animal’s muzzle. On the other hand, black rhinos have a lip that is more hooked.
Face shape and size
These two horned creatures also differ significantly in terms of the size and shape of their faces. Black rhinos have smaller heads that are more protruding, but their heads are shorter from forehead to mouth. White rhinos have a much longer skull and a longer, less defined forehead. White rhino lower their heads closer to the ground to make it easier to graze, while black rhino tend to carry their heads higher.
In comparison to white rhinos, whose ears are more pointed and narrower at the top, black rhinos have smaller, rounder ears. Because white rhinos have a nose that is typically close to the ground and poor eyesight, their larger ears are an important evolutionary adaptation for them.
Although the two horns on black and white rhinos are similar, they are different in size and shape. While the front horn of a white rhino is longer than the second, the horns of a black rhino are closer in length to one another. Male black rhinos typically have thicker horns, while females typically have longer, thinner horns.
BLACK RHINO VS. WHITE RHINO: BEHAVIOR
Black rhinos typically live alone but are occasionally seen in groups of up to five, but this is unusual. White rhinos tend to be the more social of the two, as they are typically found in large groups of seven or more.
Mother and baby rhino
While white rhino calves typically walk in front of their mothers, black rhino calves are frequently observed walking behind. While grazing, white rhinos keep their heads lowered to keep an eye on their young.
As was already mentioned, white rhinos are known as square-lipped rhinos, and black rhinos have hooked lips. Their various eating habits are the cause of this. Because black rhino browse rather than graze, their hooked lips make it easier for them to snag leaves from trees. White rhinos, in contrast, walk with their heads close to the ground while grazing on grass.
BLACK RHINO VS. WHITE RHINO: MORE ABOUT THE BLACK AND WHITE RHINO
How many black and white rhinos are left in the world?
Both rhinos are listed as endangered. Black rhino are “critically endangered,” with only 3.142 adult species left in the world, while white rhino are “near threatened,” with only about 10.082 mature species left.
Why are they referred to as ‘black’ and ‘white’?
One theory states that the black rhino got its name simply by being distinguished from the white rhino. Another is in reference to the shape of their muzzle, with the color black coming from the word “beak.”
In reference to the shape of their muzzles, some claim that the name “white rhino” is derived from the Afrikaans word “weit,” which means “wide.” In addition, you can identify the species you’re looking at by making some behavioral observations.
Which is more social?
Black rhinos typically live alone, with rare and typically short-lived groupings of up to five individuals. Since they are more social, white rhinos frequently gather in groups of seven or more.
Where can I see black and white rhinos?
The African continent is the home of both species. South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and South Africa are all home to southern white rhinos. However, there are only two female northern white rhinos left in the world, and they both reside in Kenya. Kenya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa, and Namibia are among the countries that have black rhinos.