Tet Zoo picture of the day # 5


Apologies to all for total lack of proper posts recently - I am just too busy. However, several posts will - in theory - appear very soon, and I hope that they will prove really, really interesting (especially to people interested in our views on the diversity of extant mammals. And please don't try and guess: I'm not telling). The theme for today's picture of the day is, obviously, rhinos.. again. This photo shows a Ceratotherium simum, the animal that (for an as-yet-unknown reason) we call the White rhino (and, no, that stuff about 'white' being a corruption of 'wide', 'wijd', 'weit' or whatever, is no longer regarded as correct). I've just returned from the Rhino May Day, co-organised by the Rhino Resource Center and the Zoological Society of London. Not coincidentally, today is also the day that the awesome Rhino Resource Center website is re-launched: if you're interested in rhinos, go here for the largest on-line resource of rhino pdfs, images, and much, much more. Anyway, back to work...

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Most people who know stuff about animals 'know' that the White rhino Ceratotherium simum owes its vernacular name - not to its colour - but to its wide, flattened lips. After all, the 'White' rhino is not really any whiter than any other rhino. So, the 'white' must - so everyone has been saying -…
It's official: there's a new, living species of African rhino, bringing the recognised number of living rhino species to six. But before you get too excited I should point out that the taxon concerned is not exactly new. It was first named in 1908 and has previously been regarded (without…
Ceratotherium simum, or "White" Rhinoceros, a.k.a. Square-lipped Rhinoceros. Click the caption for a much larger image. This is a young white, or square-lipped rhinoceros that was still traveling with its mom (not shown) at Pilanesberg, a mineral and game park in South Africa not far from the…
A white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) photographed last year at the Philadelphia Zoo.

A White Rhino Story

Back in the day my mom was working on her masters in biology. She chose the subject of breeding behavior in southern white rhinos, observing an older pair at the San Diego Zoo. Every time Rheinhardt, the male, showed signs of becoming amorous, she'd drive on down to the zoo to make observations.

And every time she'd arrive only to see Rheinhardt lose all interest in the female.

So she switched to a more cooperative subject, a bacterium, and subsequently earned her masters.

Meantime the San Diego Zoological Society decided to build another campus. This one to be known as The San Diego Wild Animal Park. A few years before the park opened they moved Rheinhardt there, where he joined some young, nubile, female southern white rhinos from South Africa. Rheinhardt was in rhino paradise.

A few months after the Wild Animal Park opened Mom took the three of us to see the place. After seeing all the sights you could see on foot we got on the Wagasa Bush Line and took the grand tour. As we're coming up on the South Africa exhibit the conductor announced "Ahead to your right you can see the park's southern white rhinos. The three calves --- plus four more on the way --- are all the work of one --- count them, one --- male southern white rhinoceros... Rheinhardt the Romantic Rhino".

My mom, who had cussed just once before in my hearing some 13 years before this occasion, shot to her feet and yelled out, "You son of a bitch!"

Awesome RRC website! Very useful, thanks for the post.