Interactions and Phylogeny
  • Mutualistic relationships with the oxpecker, pied crows, fork-tailed drongos, glossy starlings, and cattle egrets. (  These animals are essential and it's good that they work together.  For example, the oxpecker sits on the back of the rhino and picks off the parasites that are living off of the rhino.  Some of the parasites are:  nematodes, trypanosomes, piroplasms, gyrostigmid fly larvae (bot flies), blood sucking flies (Rhinomusca dutoiti), and  ticks.  ( Another example would be the cattle egrets.  These birds sit on the rhinos back and wait for them to go romping around and that brings up the insects from the ground, which they feed on.  They also will fly away quickly when there is danger, therefore the rhino has it's own danger alarm. 


  • White rhinos are expected to compete with any other grazer that lives in the niche.  Some of these are the zebra, warthog, and even the buffalo.  When it comes to predation, the white rhino is pretty safe and very high on the food chain.  In fact most animals just leave the rhinos alone.  The only real danger to them are humans.  Humans hunt them for their horns which are worth a lot of money on the black market but really have no good uses.  This contributes to why white rhinos are on the endangered species list. 

Phylogenetic Tree

Artiodactyla     pigs, deer, cattle, etc          
Cetacea whales, dophins, etc          
Tubulidentata   aardvark          
Perissodactyla----------------------------------- Equidae horses and zebras
Hyracoidea  hyraxes, dassies     Palaeotheriidae Extinct
Sirenia manatees, sea cow     Brontotheriidae Extinct
Desmostylia    (extinct)   Anchilophidae Extinct
Embrythopoda     (extinct)   Eomoropidae Extinct
Proboscidea   elephants, mammoths, etc     Chalicotheriidae Extinct
        Hyracodontidae Extinct
        Rhinocerotidae rhinos
        Helaletidae Extinct
        Isectolophidae Extinct
        Lophiodontidae Extinct
        Deperetellidae Extinct
        Lophialetidae Extinct
        Tapiridae   tapirs

Some interesting things here are that the closest living relative to the white rhino (besides the black rhino) would be a tapir in Tapiridae.  Most of the relatives here are extinct and go back thousands of years.  The only way scientists have been able to figure this out is through DNA testing of fossils. 


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