Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)
Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.
Species: Diceros bicornis (black rhinocerous)
Body Weight: 1,000 - 1800 kg; (2200 - 3970 lbs)
Head/Body Length: 2.9 - 3.75 m (9.5-12.3 ft)
Shoulder Height: 1.4 - 1.8 m (4.6-5.9 ft)
Tail Length: 60-70 cm (2.0-2.3 ft)
Pelage: Hair only on fringes of ears, and tip of tail. Thick, gray, heavily-folded skin covers the body; color often obscured by dirt.
Horns: Two; located on the rostrum. Composed of keratin (protein composing hair); no bony core. Not shed annually.
Diagnostic Characters: Upper lip pointed and prehensile, capable of grasping objects; unlike the White Rhino whose lip is squared-off and non-prehensile.
|Distribution & Status||Behavior & Ecology|
Range: Widely scattered populations, Sub saharan Africa. Most commonly present in Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Namibia.
Habitat: Savannahs; not found in closed canopy forest.
Population in Wild: approximately 3,100 mature individuals; see Population Status for subspecies estimates
Locomotion: Tend to be fairly sedentary. Share established trails with elephants.
Activity Cycle: Active both day and night. Least active during hottest part of day (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
Social Groups: Semi-solitary, but usually tolerate each other's presence with little aggression.
Diet: Leaves and small twigs.
Predators: Humans; young may be vulnerable to attacks by lions and hyenas.
|Reproduction & Development||Species Highlights|
Gestation: 15 - 17 months
Litter Size: 1 calf
Birth weight: 27 - 45 kg (59.5 - 99.2 lb)
Independent of mother: 2.5 to 3 years
Typical Life Expectancy:
© 2003-2020 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Minor updates in 2013, 2015. Population estimates updated Sep 2018. IUCN Status and populations estimates updated Oct 2020.
How to cite: Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) Fact Sheet. c2003-2020. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/ blackrhino.
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Jan 15)
Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to email@example.com.