What Kinds of Adaptations Does the Rhinoceros Have to Help It Survive in Its Environment?
Rhinoceroses use adaptations such as their thick skin, facial horns and relatively hairless bodies to help survive amid the forests and savannas in which they live. The combination of their sharp horns and immense bulk helps to protect the mammals from predators, while their lack of body hair prevents the large animals from overheating in the tropical heat of their homelands.
According to the University of Michigan, Department of Zoology, five species of rhinoceros inhabit the world. Three species inhabit Asia, while the other two species inhabit sub-Saharan Africa. Each of the species has evolved unique adaptations that enable them to thrive in their specific habitats. For example, the smaller species tend to inhabit forests, while the largest species – the Indian rhino of southern India and the white and black rhinos of Africa – inhabit open habitats.
The mouths of rhinos are adapted to the food they eat. For example, the white rhino is a grazing species that grabs large amounts of grass with each bite, so its mouth is broad. Conversely, black rhinos browse twigs and leaves, and eating such foods requires a more delicate approach. Accordingly, black rhinos have a narrow, beak-like mouth that they use to pick the edible portions from within the plant’s branches.