Indian (Greater One-Horned) Rhino
The Indian, a.k.a. the Greater One-Horned Rhino, or Nepalese Rhino numbers have reached approximately 3,000 today, due to conservation efforts. Earlier in the 20th century, less than 200 Indian Rhinos were remaining. Strict protection efforts by Indian and Nepalese wildlife authorities have been instrumental in the recovery of the Indian Rhino.
Saving Greater One-Horned Rhinos in Nepal: Learn more about our support of Partnership for Rhino Conservation (PARC/Nepal), a local community organization helping Greater One-Horned Rhinos in the Chitwan area of Nepal.
The Indian or Greater One-Horned Rhino has one horn comprised of compressed keratin - basically hair and fingernail material. The Indian Rhino's horn is typically 8" - 24" in length.
The Indian Rhino is grayish, and the skin forms distinctive folds around the body, making the rhino appear to be wearing plates of armor.
Indian Rhinos are the most aquatic of the five rhino species. They are strong swimmers and may spend 60% of their day in the water. Indian Rhinos can dive and feed under water, and it is not uncommon to see just their snouts, eyes, and ears above the water. They are identified by the single horn, folds of armor, and semi-prehensile upper lip. The semi-prehensile lip enables to Indian Rhino to feed on a very wide variety of grasses, leaves, branches, aquatic plants, and fruit. While looking at the rhino's head, you will see eyelashes and a little bit of hair on the ears. The other area where the Indian Rhino has hair is the tip of the tail.
Like all rhinos, the Indian Rhino is an odd-toed ungulate, having three toes - each with a sturdy hoof-like nail. Also in common with other rhinos is a superb sense of hearing, keen sense of smell - but relatively poor eyesight.
Size of the Indian Rhino
The Indian Rhino, along with the roughly equal-sized White Rhino, is the largest species of land mammal after the elephant.
The Indian Rhino's weight ranges from 4,000 - 6,000 pounds, and stands from 5.75 - 6.5 feet high at the shoulder. End-to-end, the Indian Rhino can be 10 - 12.5 feet in length.
The Indian Rhino is both fast and agile, running up to 25 mph for short distances and able to make sharp turns when necessary.
Indian Rhinos are designed for life near water, such as subtropical areas near floodplains and rivers, as they may spend 60% of their day in the water.
Indian Rhinos can live 30 - 45 years in the wild, and the captive life span record is 47 years.
Scientific Name and Origin
- Rhinoceros unicornis
- Rhinoceros: from the Greek rhino, meaning "nose" and ceros, meaning "horn"
- unicornis: from the Latin uni, meaning "one" and cornis, meaning "horn"
Species information compiled from International Rhino Foundation and Save the Rhino International.