10×14 watercolor enhanced colored pencil on satin finish watercolor paper. Original unavailable, in a private collection.
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AFRIKAANS – A New Avatar – Winner;
Welcome to the Jungle; Artists Universe (Permanent Feature Gallery 06-06-12); Let Animals Stay Free; Painting the Country Life & Countryside; Wild Africa; Animals of Africa & Madagascar; CROSSES, CRAFTS & COLLECTIBLES; Animals of Africa & Madagascar;
NOTE: Included in the Artist of the Month fantastic display for Afrikaans in the month of January 2013. Thank you Afrikaans!!
The white rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is one of the five species of rhinoceros that still exist. It has a wide mouth used for grazing and is the most social of all rhino species. The white rhino consists of two subspecies: the southern white rhino, with an estimated 17,460 wild-living animals at the end of 2007 (IUCN 2008), and the much rarer northern white rhino. The northern subspecies has very few remaining, all in captivity.
The white rhinoceros of today was said to be likely descended from Ceratotherium praecox which lived around 7 million years ago. Remains of this white rhino have been found at Langebaanweg near Cape Town. A review of fossil rhinos in Africa by Denis Geraads has however suggested that the species from Langebaanweg is of the genus Ceratotherium, but not Ceratotherium praecox as the type specimen of Ceratotherium praecox should, in fact, be Diceros praecox, as it shows closer affinities with the black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis. It has been suggested that the modern white rhino has a longer skull than Ceratotherium praecox to facilitate consumption of shorter grasses which resulted from the long term trend to drier conditions in Africa.8 However, if Ceratotherium praecox is in fact Diceros praecox, then the shorter skull could indicate a browsing species. Teeth of fossils assigned to Ceratotherium found at Makapansgat in South Africa were analysed for carbon isotopes and the researchers concluded that these animals consumed more than 30% browse in their diet, suggesting that these are not the fossils of the extant Ceratotherium simum which only eats grass. It is suggested that the real lineage of the white rhino should be; Ceratotherium neumayri → Ceratotherium mauritanicum → C. simum with the Langebaanweg rhinos being Ceratotherium sp. (as yet unnamed), with black rhinos being descended from C. neumayri via Diceros praecox. It is likely then that the ancestor of both the Black and the White rhinos was a mixed feeder, with the two lineages then specialising in browse and graze, respectively (info from Wikipedia).