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White Rhinoceros

White Rhinoceros
Photo Information
Copyright: Jan Hendrik van Rooyen (janhendrik) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 363 W: 58 N: 667] (2392)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-01-01
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-05-25 9:09
Viewed: 5398
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The White rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum

Five species of rhino are still alive today on our planet. The White rhinoceros is one of two species found in Africa.

The best known characteristic of the African rhinos are the two horns on its snout. Unlike the horns of cattle, sheep, and antelopes, the horns of the rhino are not made of bone. Instead, they are a lump of keratin fibres. There is absolutely no truth in the belief that the horn of the rhino can act as an aphrodisiac when ground up. It is the same as saving the clippings of human nails and grounding them up.

The White and Black rhino have almost the same colour of skin. A popular theory of where the White rhino got its name is from the use of the word “wide” to describe its broad, flat mouth that helps it graze on short grasses. There is obviously a short route from “wide” to “white”. The White rhino is thus a grazer, as opposed to the other African species of rhino, the Black rhino Diceros bicornis, which is a browser.

Rhinos drink water from watering holes almost daily. However, when conditions are dry, they can survive four or five days without water.

Rhinoceroses are mostly solitary animals, although a mother will stay near her most recent offspring until the next offspring is born. The White rhinoceros is the most sociable. Immature individuals will form groups, as will mothers without children. This can result in a group of up to 7 rhinoceroses. Males usually stay by themselves, except for an occasional encounter with a female.

After a gestation period of 16 months, a mother White rhinoceros will give birth to a single calf weighing about 140 pounds. The calf will stay with its mother until her next offspring is born. If threatened, the mother will stand guard over her baby. Otherwise, the infant usually runs to the front of its mother. This is different from the Black rhino, where the calf usually follows the mother.

Rhinoceroses have very poor eyesight. In fact, they cannot see a person standing motionless if they are more than 100 feet away. Since its eyes are of opposite sides of its head, the rhinoceros must look with one eye at a time to see straight ahead. They can rotate their ears to pick up sounds, resulting in fairly good hearing. However, the rhino most relies on its sense of smell. In fact, the part of the body responsible for smell (the olfactory passages) is larger than its entire brain.

The White rhinoceros lives in North-eastern and Southern Africa. Since it lives on grasses, it prefers the savannas.

The footprint of the rhino resembles an ace of clubs because of its three toes on each foot.

soccer, thor68, viv, aido, MojoUK, Zeno, dew77, metcher, RII, valy67 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]


I actually live just down the drag from the reserve but never really get down to going there!

I like the tight composition, POV, Sharpness and detail of the subject. The Lighting is the great.

What are the photographic opportunities like for animals and birds (hides etc) at Rietvlei?


wow, superb clear portrait, jan! :-)
the composition and details are awesome.
i really like the dried mud on the horn,
the second one seems to be broken off.
well seen & captured, thor.

excellent sharp and DOF. Very good POV.

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2006-05-25 9:39]

Hello Jan Hendrik,
Whow, it is one of my favorite animals, I like the POV. This is a excellent portrait, so sharp, good on details. Really super.

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-05-25 11:19]

Hi Jan,
Excellent portrait shot, nicely framed and fantastic detail. There is a feeling of tension with this shot, as he has one eye on you and it seems unsure what he will do. Good natural lighting, great work.

  • Great 
  • Scott Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 225 W: 0 N: 356] (1752)
  • [2006-05-25 11:22]


Dit is lekker, mooi, wonderful portrait!

Thanks for the note, I have seen them only at San Diego Wild Anamial Park and wondererd what the difference was.

Fine, fine work


  • Great 
  • MojoUK Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 7 N: 328] (1479)
  • [2006-05-25 11:54]

Hi Jan,

Excellent portrait of this Rhino, It must have been quite an experience to be so close to such a beast. I like the way you have captured the detail in the animals skin.


Regards, Mark.

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2006-05-25 13:24]

Hi Jan,

This is a real safari photo. I like the mud on the rhino. Very sharp photo. The twinkling in the eye is superb.


Bonjour Jan
Bravo pour cette photo exceptionnelle et je ne vous tirerais pas l'oreille pour l'oreille coupée. C'est impressionnant!

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-05-26 10:04]

Hello Jan,
Excellent portrait.I liked POV,clear details,simple BG,framing and composition a lot.TFS....:-)

Hi Jan Hendrik,
Excellent rhino portrait. Sharp with good DOF and details. Nice light. And dirty, muddy skin adds a lot.

  • Great 
  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2006-06-12 19:27]

Hi Jan.
Magnific portrait of this great specie, excllente pose and point of view, very nice colors, tones ,details, contrast and sharpness,is a great close-up,very good note.

Thanks and I wait more photos , comments , tips and critiques.


Hi Jan !
Must be great to see this impressive animal with your own eyes ! It is a wo nderful portrait ! Details, colors, light, composition, POV, BG, everything is really perfect. I love the mud-covered horn. Very well done !

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