Are rhinoceros carnivores


As fossil finds from the Swiss plateau tell us, rhinos used to live here around 25 million years ago.

Fossil rhinoceros skull from the Lower Freshwater Molasse, found in the city of Bern in 1850.


At the time of the Lower Freshwater Molasse (20–30 million years ago) rubble, sand, silt and clays are transported by rivers from the Alps, which rise above sea level, to the foreland and deposited there on large rubbish fans and river plains.

The foreland of the emerging Alps, today's Mittelland, a large alluvial plain with rivers and swamps, was ideal for residents such as rhinos under a subtropical climate with forest, but also a savannah-like landscape.

Rhino finds include partial skeletons, skulls, jaws, individual bones and teeth. Most of the rhinoceros remains are not deposited at their original place of life, but were carried away by the water after death and washed up, for example at the Engehalde in Bern.

Turtles, primeval pigs, primeval deer, rodents, carnivores such as marten and canine species, land snails and other animals lived with the rhinos. Pines, alders, cinnamon trees, willows and palm trees were found among plants.
Rhino finds are known from Bern, Bumbach, Langenthal, Wischberg, Laufen, Moutier, Delémont, Rickenbach, Goldau, Hohe Rhone and Lausanne, among others.

Dr. Ursula Menkveld-Gfeller, curator of paleontology, Natural History Museum Bern