Thursday, November 16, 2006

Rhinos : Scientists Crack Rhino Horn Riddle

ScienceDaily has news of a recent study of rhino horns undertaken at Ohio University. The researchers have been examining the heads of rhinos that died of natural causes at local zoos and safari parks, and their findings are going a long way to explaining why the rhino horn gets its distinctive curve and pointed tip.
Rhinoceros horns have long been objects of mythological beliefs. Some cultures prize them for their supposed magical or medicinal qualities. Others have used them as dagger handles or good luck charms.
The horns of most animals have a bony core covered by a thin sheath of keratin, the same substance as hair and nails. Rhino horns are unique, however, because they are composed entirely of keratin. Scientists had been puzzled by the difference, but the Ohio University study now has revealed an interesting clue: dark patches running through the center of the horns.
Full story at

Thanks to Robert for this story.

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