Scientific Name: Rhinoceros sondaicus
You will find that the Javan Rhinoceros is the smallest of all the species out there. They have thick folds and creases in the body that give them a look of armor with the gray coloring. We don’t have very much information about them other than their appearance and where they happen to live.
They can weigh from 2,000 to 5,000 pounds and grow 10 feet long. They an also be up to six feet tall. The females are often shorter with a size of about five feet tall. They have one horn that will grow to a size of about 10 inches.
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The armor body of the Javan Rhinoceros is very smooth. It helps to protect them from the sunlight and from insects. This skin is very sensitive too though which is why they stay in the shade often. They are able to move around with ease even though they are so heavy. The design of the body is one that is very fascinating when you realize their balance and speed.
They have great senses in the areas of hearing and smelling. They have small brains which indicates they run off of instinct alone. They don’t see well and that can account for why they are known to charge when they feel there may be some type of threat around their environment.
There are fossil remains that have been identified as being about 3 million years old of the Javan Rhinoceros. Those compiled with what other evidence we have shows that they may have split from other species around 11 million years ago. There is information to suggest that the Rhinoceros has been around for the past 50 million years or longer.
We are still in the very early stages though of deciphering the process of evolution for the Javan Rhinoceros. Most of what we know right now falls into the category of nothing more than speculation. However, there are some fascinating theories to explore as well.
Javan Rhinoceros Video
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We simply have very little information about the behavior of the Javan Rhinoceros. They are loners and only come into interaction with each other for mating or when their home range overlaps. They are independent with the exception of the females that have young to care for.
The amount of range that the Javan Rhinoceros covers every single day is amazing. They travel at least 10 miles per day eating and drinking. They move at a pace that is considered to be fast compared to the typical speed of moment for the other Rhinoceros species. They have a home range that is quite large and that is part of the reason why they are able to move about so freely.
Habitat and Distribution
The Javan Rhinoceros is no longer found in areas of Bangladesh and Thailand. Today the remaining 100 or less are spread through China, the Islands of Indonesia, and India. It is hard to pinpoint where they are at as they move great distances and they can adapt to plenty of different environments. Typically though they are found at an elevation of about 3,000 feet above sea level.
They need to have areas that offer them water for drinking and cooling off. They also use shaded areas and mud holes to offer them a way to lower their body temperature. Areas of grass and reeds are important for them to be able to survive. They hide out in the day time and move about freely when they sun is no longer a threat to them.
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Diet and Feeding habits
There are over 150 different types of plant life that the Javan Rhinoceros uses for food. They also consume fruits that develop during particular seasons of the year. They will eat twigs, shoots, and foliage as they move around their home area. They are called browsers due to the forms of eating habits that they have.
At least 8 hours every day are spent on just eating. They tend to move at a good pace and to take in lots of food along the way. They won’t deplete an area of food but continue to move along and find it here and there as they go. They need water every couple of days for survival but most of them will drink it every single day.
Mating can take place at any time of the year for this Rhinoceros. It takes 16 months for them to be born once mating is successful. This makes it difficult to get the number of them to increase. With so few remaining there are also concerns about the level of differentiation of the genetics. When animals mate too close to each other genetically it can create health polymers.
The males often travel great distances in order to find females to mate with. This is especially true now with so few of them remaining. Aggressive behaviors can increase due to the males fighting to mate. They often have to become aggressive with the females too in order to get them to mate. These animals may stay as a pair and mate several times over the course of that time frame before the go their own ways.
The mothers are wonderful when it comes to the care of their offspring. They will nurture them for several years before parting ways. The young feed from milk that the mother’s body produces. They also feed from plants very early in life.
Javan Rhinoceros Video
In the wild there aren’t too many predators for the Javan Rhinoceros to worry about. Some of them that may take on the challenge to feast on a young baby include the various wild cats, dingos, and wild dogs. There are reports of crocodiles also being powerful enough to take them down. It all depends on the area where these Rhinoceros are and the other food sources of the predators.
It is the efforts of humans that have almost completely wiped out the Javan Rhinoceros. They have continually hunted them for their horns. These can result in a very large amount of money being earned in exchange for them. Today such exchanges take place on the black market. The ban on the sell of them has backfired and only increased the value of them. As a result that also increases the risk that some are willing to take in order to make that money.
Some humans don’t care so much about the horns as the chance to hunt for such a rare animal. They know that the Javan Rhinoceros is very rare and they don’t want to see it extinct before they get their turn at hunting one of them. The fact that these are powerful and aggressive animals only makes that hunt one that seems more enticing.
The villagers around these areas are also responsible for the decline of the Javan Rhinoceros. They don’t protect the locations where these animals live. Instead they continue to take them over for their own survival. The villages move closer to these habitats all the time. Areas that offer food are removed for villagers to grow their own foods.
Even with aggressive conversation efforts it isn’t known if the Javan Rhinoceros is going to be able to survive or not. Hopefully the efforts in place for them will be enough to make a substantial difference and allow them to live.