Elephant and Rhino Comparison

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  • Topic: Rhinoceros, Elephant, Asian Elephant
  • Pages : 4 (1229 words )
  • Download(s) : 2591
  • Published : May 24, 2006
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The white rhinoceros and the Asian elephant possess many similar characteristics, including the way they look, yet also possess many differences such as the two continents they live on. There are five living species of rhino (black, white, Indian, Javan and Sumatran) and only two of the elephant (African and the Asian). All are in jeopardy of extinction with their slow rate of breeding, poaching and in the rhinoceroses, their territorial behavior.

Both of these beasts belong to the same kingdom (Animalia), phylum (Chordata), sub-phylum (Vertebrata) and class (Mammalia). Meaning they are both back-boned mammalian, animals. They both have hair and give birth to live young. White rhinos (Ceratotherium simum), and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are both grey in colour, with a barrel shaped body and thick set limbs which form a large round and flat foot with five toes. The head is long and in both the horns (rhinos)/ tusks (elephant) grow continuously. The elephant with one on either side of the face and the rhinoceros with one in front and a shorted one behind.

The white rhinoceros, not white in colour gets its name from the Afrikaans word ¡¥wiet,¡¦ meaning wide (referring to its jaw). Its manner of feeding has adapted to grazing short grass with a mouth similar to that of a business end of a lawnmower. The Asian elephant if not all elephants are very different in this area. They possess a trunk, perhaps their most famous feature (other than huge ears) which is a long fusion of the nose and upper lip. They use this for eating and manipulating food.

Asian elephants are very social animals while rhinoceroses, especially male ones tend to live more solitary. The white rhinoceros however is the least aggressive of all strains of rhinoceros and can become social, with females and young forming (non-family) assemblies. They occur in small groups consisting of one dominant or territorial bull, subordinate bulls, cows and offspring. Territorial bulls occupy...
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