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World Rhino Day

White rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros or rhino (Ceratotherium simum). Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa.

White rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros or rhino (Ceratotherium simum). Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa.

The 22nd of October is World Rhino Day, declared by the WWF in 2010. Since then it had grown into a world wide event, bringing  many role players and individuals together.

In celebration of these wonderful animals here are some interesting facts about rhinos:

  • Rhinoceros means “nose horn”.
  • There are  5 extant species in the family Rhinocerotidae.
  • Their skins are very thick varying from about 1.5 to 5cm.
  • A male white rhino can weigh as much as 2 400kg.
  • Their brains are not very big for an animal this size weighing between 800 and 600g.
  • Adult rhinos have no real predators in the wild.
  • There is no conclusive explanation of the name of the white rhinoceros. Some say that it comes from the Afrikaans word wyd or the Dutch word wijd, both meaning wide (referring to the animals mouth) but linguistic studies do not confirm this.
  • Poaching of these animal due to the trade in their horn has increased dramatically over the last few years, over 1300 killed in 2015.
  • Their horns, unlike other horned animals, only consist  of keratin with no bony core.
  • It is considered an effective medicine by some and prescribed for fevers and convulsions, which has been said to be about as effective as consuming fingernail clippings in water.
White rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros or rhino (Ceratotherium simum). Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa.

White rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros or rhino (Ceratotherium simum). Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa.

Photo details: Nikon D800 and Nikkor 200 – 400 f4. ISO 400 1/125 sec at f4.5

Roger de la Harpe

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