Black Rhinoceros

Part of Hall of African Mammals.

A diorama shows two adult Black rhinoceroses and a juvenile on dry brown earth with scrubby green vegetation.

Rhinoceros means "horn-nosed." For millions of years, black rhinos have used their magnificent horns for protection against lions and other predators, as weapons in territorial disputes with other rhinos, and as tools to dig for mineral salt.

For a very small portion of the rhino's history, humans have been using the animal's horns for medicines and dagger handles. In that brief time, that appetite for their horns has caused black rhinos to disappear faster than any other large animal on earth.