CLASSIFICATION OF RHINOCEROS
PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )
Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )
Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )
Super class :- TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin).
Class :-MAMMALIA ( Body covered with hairs. females have mammary glands ).
Sub-class :- THERIA ( Viviparous ).
Infra class :- EUTHERIA ( Placental mammals, vagina single ).
Order :- Perissodactyla ( Odd-toed hoofed mammals.).
Genus : Rhinocros
Found in Africa, Java, Sumatra, and India. Africa (white or square-lipped Rhinoceros Cerathotherium simum; Black or hook- lipped Rhinoceros = Diceros bicornis). India and Nepal (Black Rhinoceros = Rhinoceros uncornis).
HABIT AND HABITAT
While square-lipped rhinos tail are grassland grazer, Asiatic rhinos live in rain forests. Indian rhinos in swampy jungles at foot hills of Himalayas feed mainly on grasses and swamp succulent vegetation. Rhinos of Java and Sumatra are browsers. Fascinating animals of the zoological gardens.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF RHINOCEROS
- Commonly called as Rhinoceros or Genda.
- Large heavily built body with thick armour-like hide having considerable folds.
- Skin folds contain various tubericles and usually without hairs.
- Body divisible into head, neck, large trunk comparatively small tail, chest and abdomen. Head contains, jaws, mouth, eyes, born and ears. Upper jaw in prehensile.
- The maximum height is 6 feet and weight two and half tons.
- Rhinos have characteristic horns located on snout rather than top of head. African rhinos, have two horns while Indian rhinos only one horn. Hom is made up of skin derivatives in the form of strong fibrous pointed structure.
- Prime need of rhinos is water and mud. They (roll) in mud over their skin for cooling their skin and for protection from biting flies.
- Solitary, swift and agile.
- Eyesight poor but smelling power strong.
- Gestation period 15 to 17 months. Single calf is produced.
All rhines, particularly Asiatic species, are endangered animals. The reported power of powdered rhino horns as an aphrodisiac, making them astronomically valuable has led to killing of rhinos and their exploitation. Thick folds of skin is very strong and protective. ‘Gende ki Khat’ is famous saying for thick skinned person.
Since the animal has thick folds of such and above features, hence it is Rhinoceros.
- Book of Practical Zoology VERTEBRATE by S.S.LAL – Rastogi Publications.
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