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Skinner, J.D.; Smithers, R.H.N., 1990. The mammals of the southern African subregion, new edition. Pretoria, University of Pretoria, pp. i-xxxii, 1-771

Location: World
Subject: Behaviour - Fighting
Species: White Rhino

Original text on this topic:
Territorial bulls trespassing into the territory of an adjacent bull normally take avoidance action and serious fights are usually averted. Encounters may take the form of short charges with much dust raising or, at closer quarters, horn clashing. Where a territorial bull is accompanied by a female in oestrus, however, serious fighting may ensue. Wounding may be caused by the horn or by heavy shoulder battering and may lead to internal injury. A deposed territorial bull may be allowed to remain in the territory providing he clearly demonstrates his submissiveness. Subordinate bulls respond to territorial bulls with snorting, snarling or shrieking, but seldom actually engage in fighting, although they have been killed in such encounters.
Subtle displays may involve pulling the ears back as a sign to the others to keep off; advancing steps often accompanied by a snarl are used as a threat; charges; prodding with the horn or staring at each other, horn against horn, as intimidatory gestures. Horn against horn clashing is a more intense ritual attack, which may develop into horn-wrestling and finally jabbing with the horn. Side-rubbing may be a means of more closely cementing the bonds within a group and head-flinging in the young is an invitation to play. Although white rhinoceros have preputial glands in the region of the penis or vulva, olfactory communication appears to be limited to the odours of the urine and dung. Frequently territorial bulls will ascertain whether cows within their territories are in oestrus, but cows take little notice of each other; Calves are inquisitive and will investigate other members of the group, sometimes even cars and road signs!

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