PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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Yes it can use surf as mine used to know so.

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There was a surfing rhydon in the anime, and people thought it was cool. I guess they were trying to go with that. But we just don't truely know why they made a lot if things In the game the way they are.

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The Rhyperior family is based on the rhinoceros, some species of which can actually swim! So it would make sense for them to know Surf.

Furthermore, Rhydon was the first Pokemon ever designed by Game Freak so they had a soft spot for it and gave it better moves.

He's the first ever? Guess that explains all the rhydon statues in gold and silver, the guy in the dance studio with one, or why you're able to trade a dragonair to get one.
rhydon was the first game freak designed pokemon ? cool but i still like charizard beter akthough my rhyperior rocks
If you're interested, here is the rough order the first gen was created in: http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/List_of_Pok%C3%A9mon_by_index_number_(Generation_I)
Their "index number" is basically the order they created and added them to the game.
I understand the missigno glitch now!