Rhinoceri* Part III: combat?

One-horned rhinos look fearsome, and Mughal emperors used to stage gladiatorial combats between rhinos and elephants., which the rhinos often won. Of course, first you had to catch your rhino. In 1525 the Emperor Babur wanted to show his young son Humayun his first rhino, and this painting records the event. The rhino apparently retreated.


In Chitwan our elephant was distinctly leary of the rhino, and kept her distance.

The rhino’s horn is not designed for fighting, instead they use their fearsome incisor teeth, two of which can just be glimpsed here:


The male’s teeth grow up to 8cm (3in) long; this was the best view I could get of a full-length tooth!


The teeth can inflict wounds even through their apparently impregnable 4cm-thick skin:


Just a scratch when you weigh 2.75 tons.

I think I have run out of interesting rhino photos and facts: mostly they just graze like very large peaceful tanks, and the nearby birds and animals carry on with life next to them without fear: look closely and you will see an unconcerned Citrine Wagtail in the foreground of this photo:

rhino, citrine wagtail

*The plural of rhinoceros is matter of dispute in some quarters, and might make for a good pub-quiz question. Options include rhinoceros, rhinoceroses, rhinoceri, rhinoceroi, and rhinocerotes. Spellcheck only likes rhinoceroses! My usual solution is to duck the issue and say rhinos.





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