Tuesday, January 12, 2010

White Rhinos, on the other hand

Yesterday, I posted about white tigers and the misconceptions surrounding them. White rhinos, on the other hand, are a distinct and critically endangered species of rhino, teetering on the brink of extinction primarily from the idea that their horn can be made into medicines. So it was with joy that the Kolmarden Zoo in Sweden announced the birth of a white rhino calf. CLICK HERE for a cute video of the calf.

There are five species of rhinoceros in the world, the White Rhino being the largest of them all. The name of the White Rhino has absolutely nothing to do their their color, instead thought to come from a simple misunderstanding. There are two species of rhino in Africa, and the easiest way to tell them apart is their lip structure. The White Rhino has a wide, square-shaped lip while the Black Rhino his a pointed, triangular upper lip. It is thought that in describing the White Rhino as having a wide lip, someone misheard and "wide" and thought "white," the name sticking. The Black Rhino was again not named for its color, but merely as a name to differentiate it from the White Rhino. To the left is a picture of a Black Rhino so you can see the difference in the lip structure.

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