Indian Rhinoceros | Great Indian Rhinoceros

Indian Rhinoceros | The Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros

Indian Rhinoceros The Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros

Scientific Name:  Rhinoceros unicornis
English name: Indian Rhinoceros, Greater One-horned Rhino, Great Indian Rhinoceros
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Rhinocerotidae
Link to Red List page: Red List page of Indian rhinoceros

Classified as Vulnerable
IUCN red list classification as vulnerable

Where to find:

Today of the 30 rhino species, 5 remain living in Asia and Africa. The Indian rhinoceros had seen progressively reduced his territory. Currently, he lives in North-West India and Nepal.


His Habitat is the tall-grass grassland. But even the forests on the hills near the Himalaya range. He prefers to stay in the grasslands near the river. Where he can find easily abundance of grass and water.


He is a big mammal. The dimension is just a little bit smaller than African rhinoceros. The weight range of the Indian rhinoceros is for the male between 2.2 to 2.6 tons. While for females is between 1.5 to 1.8 tons.

The males body length is around 360 to 390 cm. While the females are between 310 to 340 cm

The hight at the shoulder is 170 to 190 cm for males and 150 to 170 cm for females.

the Indian rhinoceros has a single horn, generally black in color. It consists of pure keratin like human nails and begins to develop around 6 years of age. In most adults the horn reaches a length of 25 centimeters. This structure is not a real defensive weapon, it is used only in territorial skirmishes between males, the real defense weapon is represented by canines up to 9 cm long.


Indian rhinoceros
By Alison Wheeler CC BY-SA 2.5 Commons

He is a solitary animal, the female more than male. They live in small groups just in the mating season.

In the mating season, there are bloody fights among males. Sometimes this fights end with the death of one of the fighters.

The Indian rhinoceros has a well-developed smell. And he uses to find even the females. Hence it is not simple to approach him without being discovered.  At the opposite, he doesn’t have a good view. Sometimes his aggressivity explodes because of this. Like his African relatives.

Did you know? when he defecates he prefers to do near big piles of dung.

The skin of the Indian rhinoceros is gray and with many folds. Folds are more developed on the male’s neck.

He has just one horn. Different to the African rhinoceros, he doesn’t use in fighting. During the fighting, he prefers to use the incisor teeth.

Female have a gestation of around 15 months. And between one and the other will pass at least four or five years. The calf will stay with the mother around four years.

At six years age the female start to mate. For the male, it is a bit more complicated. Just the alpha males can mate. So the young rhino needs to wait the time when they can win the battle with the old rhino. There is some evidence that it does not happen before 15 years old.

Major risk:

Just the humans are the issue of the Indian rhinoceros. He is killed sometimes for sport but most times for the horn.

We went to the moon and we are near to go to Mars. But some populations again think in the creatine there is magic or medical properties. Keratin is the material who compose the rhino horn. And is even the material compose the human nails. It is a cultural problem.

The second issue is the reduction of their habitat. The anthropization of the territory by the humans is the cause of this.

The population is estimated at 2500 specimens. The last check has been in 2007  and it is revealed the population increasing. Maybe will be time for a new census.

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