Teeth of the Rhino

J. Patrick Olivelle jpo at UTS.CC.UTEXAS.EDU
Thu Sep 27 15:01:15 UTC 2001


Here is a zoological question which I hope one of you may be able to
answer. One Indian classification of animals, especially within the
dietary context, is between ekatodat [incisor teeth only in the lower
jaw: e.g. cow, goat] and ubhayatodat [incisors in both jaws, like
humans and horses]. My question is about the Rhinoceros. Does the
Indian Rhino have incisors on both jaws on on just the lower? The
Dharma texts prohibits the eating of ubhayatodat, but Rhino can be
eaten. But Rhino is given as an exception to the prohibition against
eating the pancanakha [even though the Rhino has only three nails!!].
Thanks for your help.

Patrick Olivelle
Chair, Department of Asian Studies
University of Texas at Austin

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