Rhinoceros often abbreviated as rhino,of which two species are native to Africa. Members of the rhino family are characterized by their large size, as well as by a herbivorous diet; a thick protective skin, 1.5–5 cm thick, formed from layers of collagen positioned in a lattice structure; relatively small brains for mammals this size and a large horn. They generally eat leafy material, although their ability to ferment food in their hindgut allows them to subsist on more fibrous plant matter, if necessary. The two African species of rhino lack teeth at the front of their mouths, relying instead on their powerful premolar and molar teeth to grind up plant food.
Rhinos are killed by humans for their horns, which are bought and sold on the black market, and which are used by some cultures for ornamental or medicinal purposes, especially in Asia. The horns are made of keratin, the same type of protein that makes up hair and fingernails. Both African species have two horns,
The southern White Rhino subspecies had a wild population of 17,480 – 16,266 of which were in South Africa – making them the most abundant rhino subspecies in the world. However, the northern subspecies was critically endangered, with as few as four individuals in the wild.There is no conclusive explanation of the name white rhinoceros. A popular theory that “white” is a distortion of either the Afrikaans word wyd or the Dutch word wijd meaning wide and referring to the rhino’s square mouth. The white rhino has an immense body and large head, a short neck and broad chest. This rhino can exceed 7,700 lb, have a head-and-body length of 11–15 ft and a shoulder height of 5.9–6.6 ft. The record-sized white rhinoceros was about 10,000 lb. On its snout it has two horns. The front horn is larger than the other horn and averages 35 in in length and can reach 59 in. The white rhinoceros also has a prominent muscular hump that supports its relatively large head. White rhinos have the distinctive flat broad mouth that is used for grazing.
The name black rhinoceros was chosen to distinguish this species from the white rhino. An adult black rhino stands 59–69 in high at the shoulder. An adult weighs from 1,900 to 3,500 lb. The black rhino is much smaller than the white rhino, and has a pointed mouth, which it uses to grasp leaves and twigs when feeding. It is primarily found in dense jungle and their numbers have drastically diminished, almost to the point of extinction which explains why we did not see any.