Indische neushoorn
Indian rhino
Ubhontshisi bamaNdiya
Indiese renoster

The greater one-horned rhino

The greater one-horned rhino is called Rhinoceros Unicornis, this scientific name consists of the following words: rhino means "nose", ceros means "horn". Uni stands for "a" and cornis means "horn".

Practical information greater one-horned rhino.

  • Shape: The greater one-horned rhinos are between 1.75 m - 2.00 m high, thereby reaching a length between 3.00 m - 3.80 m. The Indian rhino is in second place in terms of size (only the white rhino is larger).
  • Weight: The greater one-horned rhino weighs between 1800 kg and 2300 kg (with a maximum weight of 2700 kg).
  • Birth weight: between 58 kg - 70 kg.
  • Hair & skin: The skin of the Indian rhino is ash gray in color. The greater one-horned rhino stands out because of the bare skin that has many folds, especially around the neck you can see a number of striking skin folds. The skin has a maximum thickness of 4 cm. In total, only the skin of the greater one-horned rhino weighs around 200 kg. The skin between the folds, inner legs, abdomen and face is fairly thin and soft. The Indian rhino has a subcutaneous fat layer of about 2 - 5 cm thick, this fat layer is well supplied with blood. This blood supply helps the rhino with its thermo-regulation so that it is able to regulate its body temperature in changing weather conditions. All types of rhinos have tassels of hair on their eyelids, ears and end of their tails.
  • Distinctive features: of the unique armor in their appearance, the folds around the neck and the pointed gripping upper lip comparable to the black rhino. The Indian rhino does not fight with its horn, but has very long lower incisors that are used during combat, and can leave deep wounds. The teeth of a male can be up to 8 cm long. The Indian rhinos are good swimmers, they are also able to dive and feed under water. They have good sense of smell and hear very well, but have poor vision. Despite the size of the Indian rhino, they are very agile. The Indian rhino tends to use the same paths, which are marked by the smell of their stools that they have rubbed on their hind legs.

Behavior & reproduction.

  • Social: Like many other rhinos, the Indian rhino is usually solitary, except for a female with her calf. If a lot of food is present, it is not uncommon to see different animals grazing close together.
  • Sexual maturity: The bull (the men) reach sexual maturity at 9 years old, the females around 4 years old.
  • Fragrance marking: The rhino uses collective dung heaps as communication points and border markings, these heaps can grow up to five meters wide and one meter high. The Indian rhino scratches its hind hooves after pooping in the manure, so that the scent lingers on its legs. An area is claimed because the rhino has run a certain route where it has transported its scent. Traces of urine that are also distributed on the feet also served as odor markers.
  • Male territory: The territory of a bull is loosely defined. The Indian rhino bull lives alone in its territory and defends it aggressively, although the territory may overlap with other territories. The bulls fight for the areas with a lot of violence, they regularly fall victim to the wounded wounds after a few days. The areas change depending on the available food in relation to the current season.
  • Female territory: The female overlaps many areas depending on the availability of food.
  • Gestation and birth: Wear Indian rhinos for around 15 - 16 months. The average age at which females give birth is 4 years. The next calf often follows between 3 - 4 years later. The female is looking for a quiet place to give birth around the birth. The calf drinks around 20 - 30 liters of milk per day and therefore gains 1 - 2 kg per day. The calf drinks with the mother for 20 months but will start grazing around 3 - 5 months. The calf will certainly stay with his mother for the first year of life. Young calves sometimes fall prey to tigers.
  • Sounds and calls: The Indian rhino has 12 different commonly used communication sounds, including sniffing, honking and roaring.
  • Activities: Indian rhinos alternate feeding and resting during the day and night. Covering their skin with mud is part of daily activity, it helps them to prevent thermoregulation by heating and also stifles ticks and / or parasites. There are common mud pools where rhinos meet and then continue solitary. The Indian rhino is a grazer, but also eats submerged and floating water plants. It is a good swimmer who is also able to dive and eat plants under water. If rivers overflow, the Indian rhino will have to move temporarily to higher areas where it also lives on leaves. The Indian rhino, just like the black rhino, has a slightly more pointed lip, which means it is well able to collect food. The Indian rhino eats no less than 183 different plant species.

Interesting facts.

  • Behaviour: Rhinos often roll in the mud, which serves as a cooling technique, sunscreen & insect repellent. After rolling, the color of the rhino comes over with the mud that has been rolled in.
  • Speed: The rhino can reach the speed of 40 km / h in the event of danger.
  • Age: The Indian rhino is on average 35 to 40 years old.
  • Food: The greater one-horned rhino mainly feeds with grass species but also aquatic plants and shrubs / leaves.
  • The horn: The greater one-horned rhino has only one horn that is on average 20 - 61 cm long and can weigh up to 3 kg. As with other rhinos, the horn is made of the same structure as fingernails, and grows back if it breaks off. The horn of the Indian rhino is not meant for fighting, but for searching for food and digging for roots of plants.


  • Extinction: In the 20th century the Indian rhino was threatened with extinction and you could only find it in protected reserves. Thanks to very strict protection measures, the population has been able to gradually expand to around 3500 animals. Most animals can be found in Kaziranga National Park (India) & Chitwan National Park (Nepal). However, poaching figures remain high, and without the constant commitment of various agencies, the condition of the Indian rhino is precarious. 90% of the population of the animals also live in areas that are very easily accessible. If the protection of wildlife rangers falls away due to political or economic crisis, it can happen very quickly with the rhino. Work is underway on transferring rhinos to other areas, but with the loss of habitat as the 2nd threat to the rhino it is not easy. The Indian rhino lives in areas with very fertile soil, the same as people want to use for agricultural purposes, resulting in conflicts between humans and animals.
  • Location: The Indian rhino can be found in India & Nepal. The Indian rhino loves areas with marshes, forests and river banks.