Greater One-Horned Rhino Wallowing

Wallowing is an effective method that rhinos use to protect their skin.  A mud wallow is an area of thick mud and sometimes shallow water.   The wallow can be small or large, with enough room for one or ten rhinos to share.  Even for solitary rhinos, the wallow can act as a meeting place where individuals come together for a period of socialization and then go on their separate ways.

Wallowing creates a thick layer of mud all over the rhino’s body, which aids thermoregulation and can also help control external parasites.  The mud layer prevents sun damage, dehydration and keeps some biting flies from penetrating the skin.

Greater one-horned rhinos are the most aquatic species of rhinos and enjoy time in the water as well as the mud.  They can spend up to 60% of the day in mud or water.  Greater one-horned rhinos are swimmers and will even feed on floating and underwater plants.











Content provided by Canisius College students under the direction of Michael Noonan, PhD.