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Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

What Is a Rhinoceros’s Horn Made Of?

What Is a Rhinoceros’s Horn Made Of?

The horn of the rhinoceros is a dermal one, meaning made from something much like skin. Skin is composed of collagen and elastic fibers. Rhinoceroses are large, heavy animals with thick, loose skins and upright horns that project from their long noses.

The horns of rhinoceroses are not bony outgrowths and are not attached to the skull. They are made of hardened, hair like fibers stuck together in a solid mass. It’s made of keratin-that’s the stuff your hair and nails are made of.

Although the horn is made from the same substance as hair, the horn itself is not composed of hair as previously thought. The horns of some kinds of rhinoceroses can grow to lengths of over three feet.
There may be one or two horns, depending on the kind of rhinoceros.

A rhinoceros can charge at a speed of thirty miles an hour, and uses its strong, pointed horns to attack its enemy. It also uses its horns to uproot trees. It then feeds on the leaves.

Content for this question contributed by Mike Bell, resident of Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA