Rus Articles Journal

How many rhinoceroses we know?

Often when biped Adam distributed to the smaller brothers names, left small and large nestykovochka. You will call, for example, a zhivotinka “rhinoceros“, and then it becomes clear that one his relative has two horns, and another and is more amusing than that - any. So in scientifically - popular literature oxymorons it seems “a hornless rhinoceros“ appear.

Fossil rhinoceroses: small, hornless and hairy

of the Horn at rhinoceroses - quite late evolutionary acquisition. As well as impressive sizes. So ancestors nosorogovy (and at the same time and tapirs) - living during era of the Eocene, GIRAHIUSY - had the sizes from a fox to a pig, were hornless and could threaten nobody. But also stroynonog were lean that allowed them to bolt smartly from predators.

However already during the next era of an oligocene descendants of girakhius promptly gained weight, though did not lose the symmetry. The hugest animal who was ever carried by the land was just from rhinoceroses and called him INDRIKOTERIY (in honor of Slavic mythical indrik - an animal - the giant who allegedly lived underground). In length it reached 9 m, and height - nearly 6. Under its belly could will squeeze the whole hippopotamus! The long neck and legs of indrikoteriya reminded a giraffe and, probably, led a similar life, eating around foliage from tops of trees. It is clear, that at such Francois van Heerden sizes the horn to it was to anything.
were not necessary horns and to MARSH RHINOCEROSES who both a way of life and appearance reminded hippopotamuses.

Generally, variations there was a weight. For example, ATsERATERIY externally resembled a “normal“ rhinoceros, but instead of a horn had hanging down, as at a tapir, a nose. The ETRUSCAN RHINOCEROS also looked extremely familiarly, horns had even two, but unlike modern rhinoceroses of a leg at him were long and harmonous. And the hero of Ice Age, not by hearsay familiar to our ancestors - the WOOLLY RHINOCEROS - had a dense fur fur coat in addition to horns.

But the most unusual and impressive horn, probably, the rhinoceros of ELASMOTERIY possessed. This ornament almost on a forehead settled down and reached 2 meters. Itself of elasmoteriya did not lag behind a horn, in size quite could compete with an elephant and was, apparently, the largest of horned rhinoceroses.

the Rhinoceros comes back to Europe

the Last European rhinoceroses - Etruscan and woolly - died out even before emergence in Europe more - less developed civilizations. However, fans of overseas wonders and bloody shows - ancient Romans - delivered these thick-skinned of Nile Sudan for the amphitheaters.

However together with fall of the Western Roman Empire rhinoceroses for a long time departed to the area of the European rumors and legends. Until in 1513. Kambey`s king (the Western India) did not send a rhinoceros as a gift to the Portuguese colleague - the king Manuel (Emmanuil). When “the unprecedented monster“ nateshit residents of Lisbon, the exhibit was decided to be transported as a gift to the Pope. The father of a rhinoceros did not wait. Claim that the violent animal during transportation broke a board of the ship and drowned. Also consider that it served as a prototype of the well-known and quite realistic drawing of the rhinoceros made by A. Duerer.
is More reliable history of the rhinoceros delivered in the middle of the 18th century to the Carnival of Venice and depicted in P. Longi`s drawing.

The rhinoceroses represented in Duerer`s drawings and Longi obviously Indian. The African types did not “visit“ Europe since Ancient Rome up to the 19th century. The black rhinoceros was delivered for the London zoological society on September 11, 1868 of
With a white rhinoceros there was the present tragicomedy. This look was officially described by U. Burchell in 1857, and in 35 years it already declared … died out! Fortunately, scientists hurried with the pronounced sentence: in the inaccessible district of South Africa and on the Top Nile small populations were found. Both areas were taken under protection and soon in the south the number of a white rhinoceros grew to 3 thousand individuals (in the north population everything is it is almost universal exterminated). And here could see the first representative of this look alive in Europe only on April 7, 1950 in the Dutch Antwerp.

Modern rhinoceroses

So, now on Earth, despite efforts of our brother, still live five species of rhinoceroses: three Asian and two African. Most of all destiny frayed rhinoceroses Asian. So, individuals of a sumatransky look nowadays there are about one and a half hundred, and Javanese and that it is less - about fifty.

Sumatransky rhinoceros, probably, one of the most extraordinary rhinoceroses of the present. In - the first, it the most ancient of them, in - the second - the smallest (length - 2,5 m) and in - the third - the hairiest (not as a woolly rhinoceros of Ice Age, but it is quite noticeable). On the head two horns, but very modest sizes - 15-20 cm

the Javanese and Indian rhinoceroses have on one horn, and their body is covered with skin folds therefore they have very “knightly“ look. Not without reason the Indian rhinoceros call also armor-clad.

D. Niri “Wild animals of India“:
“The ancient legend of how the rhinoceros received “armor“ exists. Davny - long ago god Krishna decided to replace an elephant as fighting unit with a rhinoceros because drivers were too easy target for enemy archers. So, caught a rhinoceros, dressed him in an armor and began to learn. But when brought a rhinoceros to Krishna, he saw that the rhinoceros is too silly and will never learn to understand and carry out orders, and ordered to release a rhinoceros on freedom. Let out it in the wood, and forgot to remove an armor. So to this day rhinoceroses also wear a fighting dress of the primogenitor.

In ancient India some governors really used rhinoceroses in fights instead of “tanks“. To them put on a horn an iron trident that demanded the known share of training.“

It is valid, the Indian rhinoceros second-large (length - 4 m, and weight - 2 tons) an animal of Asia after an elephant, and precisely one of the most dangerous.

Two species of the African rhinoceroses carry eloquent names - black and white. But do not hope that you will be able easily to distinguish them on color. Color at both types same - vaguely grayish, and its shade depends on type of dirt in which a rhinoceros izvalyalsya.

T. Rodriguez de la Fuente “The African paradise“:
“Tsavo`s rhinoceroses - reddish, Amboseli`s rhinoceroses - white, and in Ngorongoro the skin of rhinoceroses has a beautiful ashy shade of color of volcanic silt“.
the Strong love to mud baths (such sanitation from parasites) sometimes leads

to the tragedy. The grown soft rhinoceros will fall asleep, will stick, and cannot get out any more, falling prey for hyenas.

That to the name “white“, here, most likely, the phonetic confusion when the Boer word “wijde“ (“wide, shirokomordy“) British automatically transferred to “white“ (“white“) takes place.
By the way, a shape of a muzzle is the best identification specific sign. At a white rhinoceros the muzzle comes to an end with a wide lip, grassy vegetation, convenient for food. Respectively also it goes on the savanna with the hung head.

At a black rhinoceros the head it is proud it is lifted, the lip is pointed in a small hobotok and it eats “higher“ food - foliage of bushes and trees. Also white rhinoceros is larger black, he in general the largest of modern rhinoceroses (length - to 5 m, height - to 2 m, weight - to 5 tons).

Traditional quantity of horns at the African rhinoceroses - two, but “mutants“ with three, and sometimes and with five outgrowths come across. Species of rhinoceroses and on characters differ. White are quieter to world around, but are among themselves quite cruel, and tournaments of males can quite come to the end with death. Black, on the contrary, - among themselves fight seldom, and vent all rage on strangers.

We will talk about evil character of a rhinoceros and his ill-fated horn already next time.