What do rhinos eat?

Rhinos are herbivores, meaning they feed exclusively on plant matter. Their diet consists primarily of grasses, leaves, twigs, bark, fruits, and roots. Here are the key points about the diet of different rhino species:

White Rhinos

  • White rhinos are grazers that live in grasslands and savannas of Africa134.
  • Their diet is dominated by grasses, consuming over 200 varieties
  • They have square lips well-suited for grazing on short and long grasses14.
  • During the dry season, they feed more on taller grasses like red oats and buffalo grass

Black Rhinos

  • Black rhinos are browsers that inhabit bushlands and woodlands of Africa134.
  • They have a prehensile upper lip to grasp and eat leaves, twigs, branches, bushes like acacia, and fruits from trees and shrubs14
  • Their diet consists of about 40% grass and the rest is woody vegetation4.

Other Rhino Species

  • The Indian rhino browses on leaves, twigs, fruits like figs and dates, and other vegetation in its forest habitat12.
  • The Sumatran rhino's diet in dense Asian forests includes leaves, shrubs, twigs, and fruits, especially figs1.
  • The Javan rhino's diet is similar to the closely related Indian rhino3.
Rhinos consume large quantities of vegetation, around 50-60 pounds or 2.5% of their body weight per day, to sustain their massive size2
Their diet varies based on the species, habitat, season, and availability of plant foods.
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