Olfactory communications play a major role for the white rhino, including communal dung heaps and urine marking.
White rhinos are nearsighted, but they have heightened senses of hearing and smell. Therefore, olfactory communications play a major role in securing their territories.
In white rhinoceros populations, dominant males spray their urine to mark the boundaries of their territories.
Furthermore, white rhinoceroses have communal dung heaps, which makes it easier for rhinoceroses to identify each other in an area. Communal dung heaps also play a role in mating, because males can determine if a female is prepared to mate based on the smell of the dung.
• Image | © Josh More, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
• Sources | (Dulal, 2017; Estes, 1991; Groves, 1972; Nowak, 1999; Skinner & Chimimba, 2006)