If rhino horns are made of hair, how are they so strong?

Rhino horns are made out of the same protein that makes our hair and fingernails – keratin. So why are they so strong and pointy?


Well the horns grow from the bottom upwards, the outer part if softened over time by repeated sun exposure and is worn away when the rhino clashes and rubs its on the ground and on vegetation, over time this creates the distinctive horn shape. The middle part of the horn, the part that has not been exposed to the sun, is much stronger and tougher.


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Image: Julian Lim