Six Plants and Animals Threatened by Pseudoscience

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No animal has perhaps been more victimized by human quackery than the rhinoceros. There are five species of this majestic animal, and all of them are threatened or near threatened. Javan rhinoceros were once widespread throughout Asia. There are now only a few dozen individuals left in the wild.

To anyone even remotely familiar with poaching, it is a readily recalled sight: a dead rhinoceros, dehorned, but nearly unscathed otherwise. In many Asian cultures, rhino horn is believed to cure cancer, treat hangovers, reduce infection, and act as an aphrodisiac. Composed of bone and keratin, the horns are essentially indistinguishable from fingernail clippings. Finger clippings do not stop cancer or spark love lives. Neither does rhino horn.

(Image: Franck, P.F)

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