4. In-built weaponry
Few predators are brave enough to face a rhino’s horn
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