4. In-built weaponry

Few preda­tors are brave enough to face a rhino’s horn

World of Animals - - Inside Nature’s Tanks -

Rhi­nos are best known for their horns, but here’s the thing; they’re not ac­tu­ally horns. True horns are made of bone cov­ered with a thin layer of ker­atin – the fi­brous pro­tein that forms our hair and nails – while rhino horns are ker­atin all the way through with min­eral de­posits run­ning through the core. Even with­out a bony core, they re­main strong and dan­ger­ous weapons, ideal for use in com­pe­ti­tion and de­fence against preda­tors such as lions, who they will read­ily charge at if a pride ap­proaches.

A rhino’s horn be­gins to ap­pear a month af­ter birth and grows 2.5 to 7.5 cen­time­tres (one to three inches) every year for the rest of its life. White rhi­nos have the record-hold­ing front horns; they av­er­age 90 cen­time­tres (35.4 inches) in length in adult­hood but have been known to reach 1.5 me­tres (4.9 feet).

Rhi­nos are more than ca­pa­ble of fight­ing off large preda­tors such as lions, gor­ing them with their horns if nec­es­sary

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