May 7-10, 2008 - Around The World, Days 12-15 - Rhinoceros, South Africa
May 9, Sabi Sands
We hear of a female white rhino with her young and head offroad to find them.
There's the "baby."
She checks us out.
The "white" part of their names is a mistranslation of a word meaning 'wide,' describing their mouths.
They're twice as big as their more aggresive black rhino cousins.
They are as big as hippos, making them the second most massive land animals.
As you can see, they're grass-eaters. Their heads hang down, unlike black rhinos, whose heads are more straight-forward. Also, the blacks' lips are more prehensile so they can pull leaves off of trees.
Of course, they both have impressive horns.
So much bigger than we thought they'd be.
May 10, Sabi Sands
On our last morning, we find a lone male grazing on tall grasses.
He's a big, muddy thang.
Perhaps that tree gives a little perspective.
So, even though the whites are very huge, they are docile. They really have few enemies.
Blacks have been known to charge Range Rovers.
My, what a fine back side!
I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Deville..."
Their body mass is so large compared to their surface area...
...so they have extra skin folds to help radiate heat (to keep them cool).