Battle of the pachyderms: Elephant vs Rhino

Battle of the pachyderms: Elephant vs Rhino

Charles Darwin was definitely onto something when he borrowed the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’. According to evolutionary theory, only those who adapt to their surroundings will be fit to survive and it doesn’t only apply to humans, but the animal kingdom too.

In Africa, the Big Five are classed as ‘big’ because of their positions as apex animals that roam the savannah. But did you know that there is an ancient rivalry between two of its members, namely the Rhino and the Elephant. These pachyderms, it seems, have been in competition for ages and up until recently, nobody really knew why.

Who is the pachyderm of the savannah?

Despite being cousins, these mega-herbivores are in competition. See how these two animals interact when their paths cross in the wild:

For a more sensationalist depiction of this match-up, see Animal Planet’s ‘Animal Face-Off’ feature of the elephant and rhino. However, for sensitive viewers perhaps it would be best to scroll past this video.

According to a study¬†conducted by a South African PhD student, the two mega pachyderms are in direct competition for food, and if in co-habitation the elephant can greatly influence the rhino’s diet.

Head to¬†Woodall Addo Elephant Park¬†for a chance to see the large pachyderm ‚Äď and perhaps the unfolding of an old rivalry.