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Indian Rhinoceros

Indian Rhinoceros
Photographer: Alison Wheeler

Indian Rhinoceros
Photographer: Fritz Geller-Grimm

Indian Rhinoceros Range Map (South Asia)
Indian Rhinoceros Range Map (South Asia)
Latin Name Rhinoceros unicornis
Conservation Status Endangered
Location South Asia
Colour Grey
Length Up to 3.8 m (12 ft)
Tail 70 - 80 cm (28 - 31 inches)
Weight Up to 2.2 tonnes (2.1 tons)
Life Expectancy 30 - 45 Yrs

Main Characteristics

The Indian Rhinoceros is a large land living animal. They have a body length up to 3.8 m (12 ft), a tail length between 70 and 80 cms (28 - 31 inches) and they weigh up to 2.2 tonnes (2.1 tons). They have a large, solid body with a large head and short, stocky legs.

Indian Rhinos are grey in colour and they have tubercles and large skin folds that give them an armour-like appearance. They only have hair on their ear fringes and tail bristles. They have a prehensile upper lip that curls around vegetation and pulls it into their mouth.

They have one large horn on their snout that has an average measurement 25 cms (10 inches), but it can reach lengths up to 57 cms (22 inches). Their horn made from keratin fibres, which is the same substance that hair is made from and it usually begins to show when they reach 6 years old.

Indian Rhinos have poor eyesight, good hearing, and a very good sense of smell. They are excellent swimmers and they are the most aquatic of all the rhinoceros species.

They enjoy wallowing in water during the heat of the day and they feed at night and in the early morning. Approximately 10 distinct vocalizations have been recorded and these include snorts, honks and roars.


The Indian Rhinoceros is found on grasslands, in swamps and in forested areas around the foothills of the Himalayas.

Indian Rhinos tend to be solitary, except females with young, but they sometimes form loose groups and their home ranges often overlap with others.

The size of a home range will vary according to the quality of their habitat, but they can be between 2 and 8 sq. kms (0.75 - 3 sq. miles).


The Indian Rhinoceros is a herbivore and they mainly feed on grasses, aquatic plants, leaves, and branches.


After a gestation period of 15 - 16 months, the Indian Rhinoceros will give birth to one calf. At birth the calf will weigh approximately 58 Kgs (128 lbs) and it is able to follow its mother around after a few days. The calf will be weaned at 12 - 18 months old.

The Indian Rhinoceros has a birthing interval of 2 - 3 years and the mother will chase away the older calf before a new one is born.

Females reach sexual maturity at 4 - 7 years of age and males at 7 - 9 years of age.


Humans are the only predators to adult Indian Rhinos. Tigers may prey upon unattended youngsters.


There are no subspecies of the Indian Rhinoceros.

Interesting Facts

The Indian Rhinoceros is also known as:
Indian Rhino
Great Indian Rhinoceros
Great Indian Rhino
Great One-Horned Rhinoceros
Great One-Horned Rhino
Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros
Greater One-Horned Rhino
Asian One-Horned Rhinoceros
Asian One-Horned Rhino
Nepales Rhinoceros
Nepales Rhino

Indian Rhinos can reach galloping speeds up to 25 km/hr (15.5 mph) for a short distance.

Similar Animals

White Rhinoceros
Black Rhinoceros
Sumatran Rhinoceros
Javan Rhinoceros


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