"At the beginning of the 20th century there were 500,000 rhinos across Africa and Asia. This fell to 70,000 by 1970 and further to just 29,000 in the wild today"
"Rhino horns are not, as once believed, made simply from a clump of compressed or modified hair. Recent studies by researchers at Ohio University using computerized tomography (CT) scans, have shown that the horns are, in fact, similar in structure to horses’ hooves, turtle beaks, and cockatoo bills. The studies also revealed that the centers of the horns have dense mineral deposits of calcium and melanin — a finding that may explain the curve and sharp tip of the horns. The calcium would strengthen the horn while the melanin would protect the core from being degraded by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. As the softer outer portion was worn away over time by the sun and typical rhino activities (bashing horns with other animals, or rubbing it on the ground), the inner core would be sharpened into a point (much like a wooden pencil).
Overall there isn’t much evidence to support the plethora of claims about the healing properties of the horns. In 1990, researchers at Chinese University in Hong Kong found that large doses of rhino horn extract could slightly lower fever in rats (as could extracts from Saiga antelope and water buffalo horn), but the concentration of horn given by a traditional Chinese medicine specialist are many many times lower than used in those experiments. In short, says Amin, you’d do just as well chewing on your fingernails."
"These are the largest land animals other than elephants. Full grown Whites are the heaviest species (weights up to 8,000 pounds), but at a height of about 6feet, Whites aren't as tall as Indian rhinos (who can grow an extra 6inches taller than Whites). Mature Black rhinos can tip in at around 5,000 (or so they tell me – I have no intention of holding the scale!).
But get this: rhinos are often twice as long as they are tall! For this, and other reasons, you wouldn't want to stand at the end of a line of rhinos."
"Somewhat Gentle Giants
Unpredictability goes both ways with the rhino, so while he's dangerous in attack mode, he's just as likely to leave you alone—it all depends on the individual. Some rhinos are predisposed to running away from a threat. And since the rhinoceros can charge at up to 40 miles per hour, he could be making a relatively speedy getaway. In any case, rhinos don't typically go looking for a fight, and are only dangerous when they feel threatened."
How long will it be before we see these creatures on film only?
- www.lioman.deBlogger, 2009 - present
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