White rhinoceros at Lake Nakuru, Kenya A rhinoceros is a large mammal with three toes on each foot. It is an ungulate, a group of herbivorous mammals with hooves. Rhinos like to be near water to keep cool, and roll in the mud to protect their skin from biting insects. There are five species: the black and white African rhinos and the Indian, Sumatran and Javan rhinos. Rhinos have one or two horns on their snout. The horns are made of keratin, the same substance that makes up hair and fingernails. Both African species and the Sumatran rhinos have two horns, while the Indian and Javan have a single horn. All but the white African are in danger of extinction because of poaching for their horns. They are sold to people who grind them up and offer them for sale as medicines.
A rhinoceros calf can be on its feet when it is just hours old, but will stay with its mother for up to three years. A rhinoceros mother and calf form a tight bond. A mother will defend her calf fiercely should danger approach.
Oxpeckers are birds that perch on the backs of rhinos and other savanna herbivores. They remove ticks and other parasites from the rhinos' skin.
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