This is a photo I took of a White rhino. As you can see, it isn’t actually white.
What it does have is a wide mouth for eating grass, whereas the Black rhino has a more pointed mouth for reaching up and nibbling branches.
Some authorities, perhaps most authorities, think that the word ‘white’ in the name is actually a corruption of the word ‘wide’ – as in wide mouthed.
How Do They Get So Big
When I kept chickens, I noticed that they scratched for grubs in the earth. They also snatched insects off of the grass.
Then, when I kept a sheep I concluded that herbivores like sheep probably also have a daily intake of insects that they have nibbled by accident when snipping grass.
This must apply all the more to animals like cows that take a twist of grass in their mouths and break it off wholesale.
By The Way
If you are at all familiar with US history from films (movies), you will know that cattle ranchers hated sheep farmers.
Apart from any other reasons for the disputes, one reason the cattle ranchers hated sheep is that sheep nibble grass so short that cattle cannot wrap their tongues around the short grass.
Back To The Story Of How Do They Get So Big
So, the point I am making is that insects or not, the vast bulk of what sheep, cattle, rhinoceroses, elephants, etc. eat – is grass.
They get that big from eating grass?! I still can’t get used to it.
The word rhinoceros is derived from the Greek words meaning nose-horn.
The collective noun for a group of rhinoceroses is crash or herd. (Crash seems more apt to me…)
Photo credit Quillcards