Rhino horns aren't really horns


11 Responses to “Rhino horns aren't really horns”

  1. oasisob1 says:

    It’s cool, but OMG COPYRIGHT! You took pictures!!!

  2. John Irvine says:

    And they grow back if carefully removed.  One of the strategies that is being considered to save the Rhino from poachers is to harvest rhino horns as a sustainable farmed commodity.   Of course the market for them as snake-oil medicine should also be attacked through better education, but in the meantime, it is not necessary to kill rhinos for their horns.

    • Boundegar says:

      The part I totally don’t get is why they don’t just substitute ground-up cockroach or something?  If the medicine only works by placebo effect, then quality control isn’t of the utmost importance.

    • cjporkchop says:

      We should start the myth that a much more potent version of the rhino horn “medicine” is the dessicated, powdered genitals of someone who has killed a rhino!

      Poachers, beware!

  3. D3 says:

    This reminds me of something that happened in the fifth grade.
    The teacher was explaining that rhino horns are not horns, really, but essentially compressed hair. One student asked how that was even possible. The teacher  insisted that it was possible and was indeed true. The student, now in the throes of cognitive dissonance, could only restate that she still just couldn’t see how such a thing was even possible and couldn’t believe it, which began to frustrate the teacher. After this went on for a while longer, it emerged that the student had misheard “compressed hair” as “compressed air”. The tension was broken and hilarity ensued.

    •  …and from that moment on, all the spam came to address impacted follicles and fingernails; have you looked at your hands lately, they’d say, 4 people have fused mantles you should know about. The mastication of brush is really going to help cut out brushfire, too.

  4. pahool says:

    Nightmare fuel for the trypohobic

  5. nvlady says:

    The rhino is my absolute favorite animal. To use their horns to fill the sick market and in turn generate income to pay for their protection might be the only necessary evil that is available to the cause. Because people who think fingernail flakes is gonna rev your sex drive are clearly of the right mind.

  6. BillStewart2012 says:

    San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park has a rhino skull on display, and as you say the horn’s not attached, because it’s really not a horn, more of a large fingernail.  They’ve got several species of rhino in the park – one of the African white rhino species is starting to make a comeback, though all of the black rhinos and Asian rhinos are still in serious trouble.

    (At this point, probably the cheapest way to protect the rhino would be to declare Viagra to be off-patent, and give all the men in China a free package of the stuff, whether they believe in traditional medicine or not…  Only a small percentage of them are contributing to rhino extinction, but the rest can probably find uses for theirs.)

  7. Smack too hard, that bone could break and then yer screwed.

  8. Hodge says:

    Does rhino horn / keratin fossilise? The conventional answer is “No”. But does anyone know of an example of fossilised horn / keratin?

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