3. Thick skin

Al­ways dressed for bat­tle, rhi­nos keep their ar­mour with them

World of Animals - - Inside Nature’s Tanks -

Rhi­nos are cov­ered in thick grey skin made of col­la­gen ar­ranged in a lat­tice struc­ture. One layer would be weak, but many to­gether form a pro­tec­tive bar­rier up to five cen­time­tres (two inches) thick. This thick skin is like ar­mour for a rhino, pro­tect­ing it from thorny veg­e­ta­tion and at­tacks from ri­vals. The outer layer is still sen­si­tive though, so it must be kept in the best con­di­tion pos­si­ble.

Rhi­nos wal­low in mud to mois­turise their skin and shield it from dam­ag­ing sun­rays and in­sects. Usu­ally not fond of com­pany, they al­low birds like ox­peck­ers to perch on their backs and pick out any un­wel­come par­a­sites.

As with many an­i­mals, a rhino will fiercely de­fend its young against any threat

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