What Do Rhinos Eat?

What do rhinos eat?
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What Do Rhinos Eat? Rhinoceros, commonly referred to as rhinos, are enormous animals. They are the second-largest mammals on land, after elephants.

Rhinos are notable for their cylindrical body shape, short legs, and a large head. Their heads spot a large horn, or two, at the top. These horns are made up of keratin.

Rhinos are mostly herbivorous. They draw their nutrients from feeding on plant matter such as shoots, leaves, fruits, berries, buds, and grass.

What Do Rhinos Eat?

Type of Rhino Diet
White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum) Short grasses, bush covers, stems, seeds, grains, wood bark, nuts, flowers, pollen, and sap.
Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis) Trees and bushes.
Indian Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) Tallgrass, farm crops, fruits, and leaves.
Javan Rhino (Rhinocerossondaicus) Twigs, leaves, sap, and shoots.
Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinussumatrensis) Fruits, bark, leaves, and twigs.

Rhinos Diet by Types

Five types of rhinos exist in the world today. Each species has notable physical characteristics and behavior, which makes each one of them unique. This section will be dedicated to understanding the five species and their habitats.

What Do White Rhinos Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Perissodactyla Rhinocerotidae Ceratotherium Ceratotherium simum

What do white rhinos eat?

The general diet of white rhino species includes short grasses and bush covers. Their broad lips are instrumental in this kind of diet. They also eat stems, seeds, grains, wood bark, nuts, pollen, flowers, and sap.

  • The white rhino is the largest of all the rhino species, and it has two subspecies, the northern white rhino, and its southern counterpart.
  • The white rhino is native to Africa.
  • White rhinos can average weight of about 4 tons. White rhinos are notable for their wide squared upper lips.
  • Both species inhabit grassland and savannah areas.

What Do Black Rhinos Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Perissodactyla Rhinocerotidae Diceros Diceros bicornis

What do black rhinos eat?

The black rhino species feeds mostly on trees and bushes.

  • The black rhino is the other half of the rhino species native to Africa.
  • It is notable or its unique upper lip, which is pointed.
  • This species inhabits a vast range of habitats, including deserts, grasslands, open plains, mountain forests, high altitude moors, and dry forests.

What Do Indian Rhinos Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Perissodactyla Rhinocerotidae Rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis

What do Indian rhinos eat?

The Indian Rhinos are mainly grazers, feeding on tall grass. It also feeds on farm crops, fruits, and leaves.

  • This species is found primarily in Nepal and India.
  • The Indian rhino has only one horn. It mostly inhabits shrublands and grasslands.

What Do Javan Rhinos Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Perissodactyla Rhinocerotidae Rhinoceros Rhinoceros sondaicus
What do Javan rhinos eat?
Source: Wikimedia

The Javan rhino species mainly feeds on twigs, leaves, sap, and shoots.

  • Found in only in Indonesia, the Javan rhino is critically endangered.
  • This species inhabits mangroves, forests, montane shrubs, and mountainous regions.

What Do Sumatran Rhinos Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Perissodactyla Rhinocerotidae Dicerorhinus Dicerorhinus sumatrensis
What do Sumatran rhinos eat?
Source: Wikimedia

The Sumatran Rhino also feeds on fruits, bark, leaves, and twigs.

  • The Sumatran rhinos are the smallest of all the rhino species, and it is also critically endangered.
  • This species has two horns and is found in Asia.
  • The Sumatran rhino inhabits dense subtropical and tropical forests.

How Do Rhinos Hunt?

Rhinos do not hunt; they are herbivores; feeding primarily on plant matter.

When Do Rhinos Eat?

Rhinos can be described as both nocturnal and diurnal.

When do rhinos eat?

  • For instance, the black rhino is mostly diurnal and will often be active and eat during the day.
  • This species has been noted to be nocturnal (either partially or fully) when living in areas of high persecution.
  • The Javan and Indian rhinoceros also display diurnal activity.
  • The white rhino is partly nocturnal, and so it can, at times, be found eating at night.

How Often Do Rhinos Eat?

Rhinos are enormous animals, and they must eat vast amounts of food to sustain themselves.

How often do rhinos eat?

  • The white rhino spends about half of its awake hours eating.
  • White rhinos must eat as much and as often as they require to realize the daily threshold of 120 pounds of grass.
  • Black rhinos, on the other hand, require a much lesser amount of food (compared to the white rhinos) per day.
  • Animal Diversity Web records the daily intake required by rhinos to be about 23.6 kg.

What Eats Rhinos?

Adult rhinoceros have no any other natural predator except for humans who hunt them for their precious horns.

What eats baby rhinos? Hyena

  • Younger rhinos (especially of the black rhino species) who have strayed from their mothers are vulnerable to predation by tigers, lions and spotted hyenas, especially at night.
  • This timing works well for a predator, given that rhinos have poor eyesight at night.

Where Do Rhinos Fit in the Animal Food Chain?

Rhinos play a small role in the animal food chain.

  • Though challenging to hunt, they provide a source of nutrition to organisms that prey on them like lions, humans, and the spotted hyenas.

Cite this article as: "What Do Rhinos Eat?," in Bio Explorer by Jack Kirsten, March 5, 2019, https://www.bioexplorer.net/what-do-rhinos-eat.html/.

Key References

  • “ADW: Ceratotherium simum: INFORMATION”. Accessed October 05, 2019. Link.
  • “White Rhinoceros | National Geographic”. Accessed October 05, 2019. Link.
  • “Southern White Rhinoceros | The Maryland Zoo”. Accessed October 05, 2019. Link.
  • “Black Rhino | Species | WWF”. Accessed October 05, 2019. Link.
  • “Indian Rhinoceros | National Geographic”. Accessed October 05, 2019. Link.
  • “Greater one-horned rhino | WWF”. Accessed October 05, 2019. Link.
  • “Javan Rhino | Species | Save the Rhino International”. Accessed October 05, 2019. Link.
  • “Javan Rhino”. Accessed October 05, 2019. Link.
  • “Sumatran rhino | WWF”. Accessed October 05, 2019. Link.
  • “A groundbreaking partnership to save the Sumatran rhino from extinction”. Accessed October 05, 2019. Link.
  • “ADW: Rhinoceros: INFORMATION”. Accessed October 05, 2019. Link.

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