Rhinoceros horns are made from keratin, similar to cockatoo bills and
horses’ hooves. Like our fingernails-they DO grow back. It’s been observed that once removed, they regrow completely in 3 years.
There are five types of rhino; the Sumatran, Black Rhino, White Rhino,
Javan, and Indian. The Sumatran, Black and White Rhinos each have two
horns, while the Javan and Indian have one. Depending on the rhino,
horns vary anywhere from 10 inches (for the smaller species) to
55 inches (for the larger ones).
The main use rhinos have for the horn(s) is posturing. They will scare off
encroaching animals or other rhinos. If intimidation doesn’t work, they
use the horns to charge and fight. Other times they may use them to dig in
the soil for grass or edible roots, or water in dry riverbeds. Females use
them to guide and steer their calves.
The luster of a rhino horn increases with age so people (primarily in China and Yemen) crave them, for ornamental purposes. They make dagger handles, ceremonial cups, buttons, belt buckles and paper weights from them.
The horns are also ground into powder and used in traditional medicines in
Malaysia, South Korea, India and China. It is thought to treat fever,
rheumatim, gout, snakebites, and even headaches. (Too bad they don’t just
There is NO scientific evidence to support the belief of horns having