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White Rhinoceros

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White Rhinoceros
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Rhinocerotidae
Genus: Ceratotherium
Species: simum
Binomial name
Ceratotherium simum
Burchell, 1817

The White Rhinoceros or Square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is one of the five species of rhinoceros that still exists. It is native to Africa. On its snout it has two horns which differ from the horns of cattle, sheep, and antelopes, because they are made of keratin fibers instead of bone.

The White Rhino is visibly different from the Black Rhinoceros not in its skin color which is quite similar to that of the Black Rhino but because of the shape of its mouth - it is wide, for cropping large swaths of grass, while the Black Rhino's mouth has a pointed, prehensile lip. (According to the International Rhino Foundation ,the term "White" actually comes from the Afrikaans word "weit", meaning "wide".) The White Rhinoceros also has a noticeable hump on the back of its neck which supports its large head. Each of the rhino's four feet has three toes and it is sometimes known as the Square-lipped Rhinoceros because of its protrudent lip that helps it graze on short grasses.

Like the Black Rhino, the White Rhino is under threat from habitat loss and poaching.

Last updated: 05-02-2005 19:47:38