Have you ever wondered how old a certain species was? How long it has been around? Today I will tell you about you about a certain mammal species that has been around for fifty million years. It is called the Sumatran Rhinoceros. The Sumatran Rhinoceros is the smallest species of rhinoceros. It weighs five hundred to one thousand kilograms. The rhino stands one hundred and twelve to one hundred and forty five centimeters at it’s shoulder. It has reddish brown hair covering its body. Sumatran rhinos have coarse skin and small eyes.
The Sumatran rhino’s lifespan is thirty to forty five years. Like other rhinos, they have a sharp sense of hearing and a keen sense of smell. The Sumatran Rhino also has two horns; it has one nasal horn and one smaller horn behind it. The Sumatran Rhino is critically endangered and lives in forests in Malaysia and Indonesia. Some say they were spotted in different places but it is not proven. Sumatran rhinos also like to live in hilly areas near water.
The Sumatran rhino is a solitary creature except for when it is ready to mate. Sometimes when they are in a group, they communicate with each other through making marks in the ground with their feet. They are also a very vocal species. Once the mating season is over and a Sumatran rhino is pregnant, the female carries the baby for fifteen to sixteen months. Once the baby is born, it will stay with its mother until it reaches sixteen to seventeen months of age. Sumatran rhinos are herbivores which means that they eat only plants. Their diet includes young saplings, leaves, fruits, twigs,and shoots. The Sumatran rhino likes to eat before nightfall and in the morning when it is cool. They can consume one hundred and ten pounds (fifty kilograms) in a day.
The Sumatran Rhino isn’t only a very rare species, it is also one of the oldest still living mammals. The rare rhino species was listed as critically endangered by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) since 1996. Its evolution dates back fifty million years! Fifty million years ago, scientists suggest that Sumatran rhinos and other rhino species evolved or split from a different species; the Equidae (from the horse family) turning the Sumatran rhino and the other rhinos into their own species. Because of certain similarities between the Sumatran rhino and the extinct Woolly rhino, it is believed that they are closely related to each other.
The Sumatran rhino is a very interesting species. If you want to learn more about the Sumatran rhino, click here.
Photo credits: http://katherineeban.com/2014/08/20/schoolkids-write-book-to-help-save-rhinos-national-geographic/