Rhinoceros Iguanas



Rhinoceros is the largest among mammals, with average weight of thirty-seven pounds and length of fifteen inches. Rhinoceros are known for their striped coat, which is called the dappled side-to-side pattern. They are also known to have reddish-orange body color. The word ‘Rhino’ comes from the Tahitian word, rhino. The beautiful, magnificent and unique animal has been a top listing mammal for over three centuries.

Rhinoceros are easily identified because they have one eye that is almost as large as the other, and they have no tail. These amazing creatures can often be seen basking in the sun on their palm fronds and exploring their habitat. Male rhinoceros usually become aggressive, especially during mating season, when they attempt to dominate their mates. These amazing creatures are natural-born hunters, as they are well equipped with sharp senses that allow them to catch fish and catch prey.

Although not dangerous, male rhinoceros iguana do not hesitate to bite and hurt their mates if they feel threatened. They also have sharp teeth and are capable of preying on smaller preys like sloths and birds. They reside primarily in swampy and dry forests of the Dominican Republic, in areas near rivers and creeks, swamps and rice paddies. It’s estimated that they are present in this area up to at least ten million years ago.

To date, there are only two known species of this animal. One of these species is the northern white rhinoceros, which is critically endangered. The second species is the eastern or western rhinoceros, which is considered slightly less endangered due to translocation of the species from the wild to zoos, conservation programs and conservancy in captivity.

Interestingly, despite its ferocious appearance, the average Rhinoceros Iguana weighs around twelve pounds and is three to four inches long. Tail has a very thick cover and males with unusually large tails are subject to greater risk of capture. However, because these animals have evolved to live mostly on the ground, they have adapted very well to life in captivity. They grow up to nearly one and a half feet in length and have white or black spots on their snouts and foreheads. Their incisors are long and pointed, and they possess judicial lips that aid in preventing them from chomping their tongues when they hunt during the night.

Like other members of the species, males are covered with thick fur and have prominent ears, with each ear ranging in size from eight to two and a half inches. Tail has a thick covering and its pre-grown horns are present along with two additional ones inside the snout. Fur is short and dense and males have black hair tufts on the top of their heads. They have black eyes and grayish or brownish fur. Because of their vulnerable position, no rhinoceros in red list member is considered endangered and they are protected globally.

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