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You don’t often ‘ear of this

13 October 2013

A beautiful start to a new day in the SerengetiFemale Black Rhino Mother and Calf appear very relaxed despite our presence Nap time! The calf's older brother showing off his well formed ears Posing for the camera

This lovely trio of rhinos have been seen frequently over the last month. With there said to be only 8 rhinos in the whole of the Serengeti it is a very rare and special sighting to see three at once.
What makes the sighting of these rhinos even more unusual is the fact that the young calf was born with no ears. According to a blog by Africa Geographic there have been numerous records of black rhinos without ears and is common in some particular populations. The cause of this abnormality is still uncertain but is speculated to be due to genetic deformity from inbreeding effects. Other times rhinos loose their ears to predators, diseases or parasitic deformities. This calf though has been earless since birth so the genetic deformity seems to be the cause in this case.

There is very little information of what effect the earlessness has on the rhino but due to rhinos being heavily dependent on their hearing and sense of smell due to being shortsighted. Luckily for this little calf previous records have shown that the earless black rhinos have lived to over 30 years, which is normal life span for a black rhino, and be able to breed.

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