(Last Updated on : 13/06/2011)
Indian Rhinoceros is the fourth largest animal in the world and is known by the scientific name Rhinoceros unicornis. It is a good swimmer and has a good sense of smell and hearing but poor eyesight. In India, it is found in Assam. The Indian rhinoceros is also called Great One-Horned Rhinoceros.
Rhinoceros have thick skin, which is silver brown in colour and has minimal hair on its body. The shoulders as well as the upper parts of the legs have wart-like bumps. The male Rhinoceros weighs from 2260 to 3000 kilograms. The average height of an Indian rhinoceros is nearly six feet while in length it is nearly 3.5 meters. The horn of an Indian Rhinoceros is nearly twenty to one hundred and one centimeters in length. The males and the females have horns, which starts growing from the age of six. The male rhinoceros is stronger than the female rhinoceros.
The Indian Rhinoceros prefers to stay alone and can rarely be found in groups. However, this is not the case for mothers and calves and the breeding groups. They are diurnal creatures who are active during the day. They are found lazing around lakes, rivers, ponds and puddles and through this they try to keep off the heat of the daytime. The Indian Rhinoceros is herbivorous and lives on grasses, aquatic plants and fruits.
The maturity age of the male and the female rhinoceros is different. While the male rhinoceros starts breeding at the age of nine, the females gain maturity at the age of five. During the mating season, the female whistles to inform the males about the same. The gestation period is sixteen months and the females give birth to one calf at a time. The duration between the births of two calves is around three years. A young rhino stays with its mother for some years after its birth.
The Indian Rhinoceros has made it to the list of endangered species. They inhabit in the tall grasslands and forests in the foothills of the Himalayas. At present the One-Horned Rhinoceros is found in the Kaziranga National Park and the Manas National Park of Assam.