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Others claim the hippo has more advantages that include its enormous mouth that can dole out lethal damage. Full grown hippos can weight 5, 000 to 8, 000 lbs. Common hippos live in sub-Saharan Africa in areas of abundant water, mud, and grass. 43. Tusk clashing consists of males locking teeth and wrestling. Their natural environment though is at risk due to them being killed for sport, for meat, and for the ivory of their teeth. Whoops! Why do hippos become poop sprinklers? A hippo’s mouth is filled with a set of tusk-like canines and incisors. Hippos are endangered mainly because poachers hunt them for their meat and the ivory in their teeth. They easily get scared and when they are threatened on land, they run for refuge in the waters. However, spotted hyenas, lions, and crocodiles are known to eat young hippos if they can steal them without getting mauled by the mother hippos. At sundown, they come out of the water and munch on grass. Hippos vocalize on both land and in the water and are the only mammals that make amphibious calls. Their heads and tails do have thick, bristly hair. Even National Geographic got this wrong back in 2013, posting this on Facebook: “Friday Fact: A hippo's milk is bright pink”. There is an ongoing debate about who would win in a rhino-versus-hippo battle. 1) Hippos are large semi-aquatic mammals, with a large barrel-shaped body, short legs, a short tail and an enormous head! The school will remain in the water and mud throughout the day to keep cool. Usually they are found in mixed groups of about 15 individuals, but in periods of drought large numbers are forced to congregate near limited pools of water. 35. Why do male hippos attack baby hippos? Their skin is harder than any other animal. Hippos are the third largest living land mammals, after elephants and white rhinos. 11. From where they live to why their mouths are so big, here are 57 hippo facts. With their eyes, ears, and nostrils on the top of the head, hippos can hear, see, and breathe while most of their body is underwater. Their canine teeth are somewhat tusk-like. If you see a hippo yawning, you may think it’s cute, but in reality, a hippo yawn is a warning signal. Hippos are highly aggressive and unpredictable, especially when their calves are present, which is why they are considered so dangerous. Turtles and even baby crocodiles have been seen sunning themselves on hippos. They are enormous creatures that can crush you in a heartbeat or drown you by overturning your boat. It’s not known exactly how many hours hippos sleep per day. Hippos also have membranes that cover and protect their eyes while they are underwater. 2) They are considered the second largest land animal on Earth (first place goes to the elephant! Females have a gestation period of eight months and have only one baby at a time. The more you learn about these semi-aquatic beasts, the more you will discover several surprising hippopotamus facts. The name comes from the ancient Greek for “river horse” (ἱπποπόταμος). Yet despite all these adaptations for life in the water, hippos can’t swim! Silverback Strength vs Humans (Grizzly, Lion, Croc), Thinking About Living in Denmark? And hippos are the most dangerous large mammal worldwide, killing an estimated 500 people per year in Africa. Habitat loss and unregulated poaching and hunting are the top reasons why hippo numbers are declining. A hippopotamus (commonly known as a hippo) is a large, stout animal with smooth skin, stocky legs and a huge, broad-muzzle head. Hippos play an important role in the African ecosystem. A hippo will starve to death if its molars wear down too much to break down food. Hippos have a natural built-in reflex that causes them to reach for the surface to breathe. I also blog about photography with a focus on GoPro cameras. Can you eat a hippopotamus? 9 Types of Tigers: Guide to All Subspecies (Size, Population, Illegal Trade), 19 Facts About African Oxpecker Birds (Both Species of Buphagus), 21 King Cheetah Facts (King Cheetah vs Cheetah) Fur, Photos, Speed, How to Choose the Best Camera for Safari [Buyers Guide], Going on a Safari? When the female nears the time to give birth, she leaves the herd for one or two weeks to give birth to her young and create a bond with her baby. When you use our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. 57. They have greyish to muddy-brown skin, which fades to a pale pink colour underneath. 42. Hippos live exclusively in fresh water and are absolutely not adapted for living in salt water. Although the hippopotamus is only half as small as an elephant, it only needs one-sixth of what the elephant eats to eat. If they are in shallow water, they will rest with their nostrils protruding just above the surface. The best places to see hippos in Uganda are these four national parks: Watch this traveler video of a boat ride in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. They also have a membrane that closes over their eyes underwater. People do eat hippo meat even though the sale of it is illegal. (Baby hippos need to breathe every 2 to 3 minutes.). Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Even so, they spend most of the day in water to protect their sensitive skin from the sun. Hippos just may be the most dangerous land mammals in the world. Hippos can’t swim or float! 5 Interesting Hippopotamus Facts. Can you outrun a hippo? They spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes to keep their massive bodies cool under the hot African sun. Hippos are herbivores, eating grass and occasionally some vegetables and fruits. They secrete an oily red substance that acts as a moisturiser, sunblock and protects them from germs. It is believed that they rest for short periods of time. It takes a female 22 months from conception to have a baby . Hippos can't swim. One of the most interesting hippo facts is that this animal secretes a red, oily substance that many have described as “blood sweat.”. The hippos is one of the most aggressive creatures in the world and is often regarded as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. Hippopotamuses (or hippos), may look like cute, comical giants, but they are among the world’s most dangerous animals. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that rhinos and hippos are capable of killing each other. Under the right conditions, a Hippo can live in the wild for 45 to 50 years. The ivory from hippo tusks is softer than ivory from elephant tusks. The mother stays in the water with her newborn for several days without eating, and she waits until her baby is strong enough before they dare leave the water at night to graze. The common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), or hippo is a large semi-aquatic mammal that is found wallowing in the rivers and lakes across sub-Saharan Africa. In theory, when the hipposudoric acid (red) mixes with the milk (white), it produces a pink solution. 25 Fun facts about Hippos. They nurse their mothers underwater and on land. Hippos rank as one of the largest animals in Africa and are not known for their sunny dispositions, causing more human deaths in Africa annually than lions, leopards, crocodiles, or any other of the major predators. They also have a membrane that closes over their eyes underwater. A common hippo can grow up to a little over 5 feet (1.52 m) tall at the shoulder and between 10 and 16 feet (3 and 5 m)long. 50. Male Hippos are larger than the females. 4) The Sri Lankan Elephant is the largest of the Asian subspecies, measuring 6.6 to 11.5 feet tall and weighing 4,400 and 12,100 pounds. 5. All Species (Likes, Plants, Meat?). I have seen a hippo kill a large crocodile with a single bite, and a human would offer little to no resistance if a hippo was to become aggressive. I'm a traveler and photographer. From a mosaic of stunning and diverse landscapes to a vibrant history & culture, learn interesting Cameroon facts, surprising history, & fun trivia here. But there is actually no evidence to suggest that this ever happens. There are many great facts about the elephant though that you should learn about, and this is the place to do so. Their lifespan can reach approximately 50 years. Females average weight is 1,400 kilograms (3,000 pounds); males weight from 1,600 to 4,500 kilograms (3,500 to 9,920 pounds). Hippos are a semi-aquatic mammal, usually inhabiting shallow lakes, rivers, and swamps in Africa. If a hungry crocodile dares to go after a young, less dangerous hippo, the calf’s mother and all her sisters will come after the crocodile. How long does the hippo calf stay with its mother? Modern-day hippos can only be … This amazing animal lives on the expanses of Africa and leads a semi-aqueous life. They are also hunted and killed for their meat and ivory tusks and teeth which sell for big bucks on the black market. Of course, hippos have teeth. In fact, they have 36 teeth that include one canine, two incisors, three premolars, and three molars on each side of their jaws. Common hippos live in the eastern central region of Africa and below the Sahara Desert. Would you believe a hippopotamus cannot swim? Although the hippo spends a most of its time in water, the hippos are not good at swimming. These highly acidic compounds inhibit bacteria (reducing disease) and absorb ultraviolet light (helping prevent sunburn and sun damage). Hippos are huge, docile mammals. Over the centuries, native African tribes have traditionally eaten hippos, but few animals are ever willing to take on a hippopotamus for supper. This is real and it appears to be a male dominance thing – where they are both impressing females and marking their territory. Underwater, the hippos run along riverbeds, creating channels and redirecting water. You'll see many Ugandan animals, including hippos, elephants, cape buffalo, marabou stork, and nile crocodiles. For years this fluid was thought to be a mixture of blood and sweat, giving it the nickname “blood sweat.”. The IUCN classified the Hippo as having vulnerable status in 2008. However, there have been a few hippos that were observed eating buffalo, wildebeest, and impala as well as another hippo eating the carcass of its own species. Some people say the rhino would triumph because of its larger size, vicious horn, and faster speed. Keep reading for more hippopotamus facts and we'll tell you the reasons. Hippos are also known to make honking or grunting sounds whilst in water to mark their territory. Hippos can live up to 120 years in the wild; up to 836 in captivity. 1-5 Hippopotamus Facts 1. Hippos live in herds and are possessive about their territories. (23 to 50 kg). They need to resurface every 3 to 5 minutes to breathe. For its first eight months, the calf nurses while its mother is on land, or it swims underwater to suckle. Hippopotamuses are the 3rd largest land mammal, after elephants and rhinos. The American hunter and author, Peter Hathaway Capstick, describes it like this: “It is my personal opinion that hippo meat is one of the finest of game foods … The taste is mild, less than lamb and more than beef, slightly more marbled than usual venison. Twins are rare. Neither blood nor sweat, this secretion is a natural sunscreen that protects the hippo’s naked skin from the harsh African sun. The hippo’s head is large and elongated with the eyes, ears, and nostrils situated on the top part. Some of the many African countries where hippos can be found include: Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda, Botswana, Senegal, Gambia, Chad, Zambia, Togo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana, the Republic of Congo, and South Africa. Hippos are threatened by habitat loss and poachers who hunt them for their meat and teeth. Experts aren’t really sure why, but they believe it happens when herds become overpopulated, their habitat begins to dwindle, or when food is scarce. Hippos have big mouths to eat the whopping amount of food they need for their big bodies. A baby hippo is called a ‘calf’. Type: Mammal; Diet: Herbivore; Life span: Up to 40 years; Size: Head and body, 2.8 to 4.2 m; tail, 35 to 50 cm; Weight: 2,268 to 3,629 kg; Habitat: The hippopotamus is semi-aquatic, inhabiting rivers and lakes. The gestation period for a female hippo is eight months. A clear membrane covers and protects their eyes while allowing them to see underwater. A hippopotamus is commonly just called a hippo. The average Hippo has a head and body length of 3 to 4 feet and weighs close to 300 tons. A male Hippo is called a Bull and female Hippo is called a cow. The hippo is also known for its thick, hairless hide, huge gaping mouth and ivory teeth. Like almost any herbivore, they consume other plants if presented with them, but their diet in nature consists almost entirely of grass, with only minimal consumption of aquatic plants. They can kill people, but usually fight amongst themselves. More reading: How fast can a crocodile run? It has a short, flattened tail tipped with a tuft of black hair. Entertaining, but be sure to keep your distance. Hippos may look lazy and sluggish, but don’t be deceived. Each group has a dominant male and there are often clashes between the other males in the group. Another of several astonishing hippo facts is that these beasts can chomp down with a brutal force of about 2,000 pounds per square inch. Learn more about me. Although it is not common, bull hippos do attack and kill hippo calves. No, hippos are not endangered, but they are declared vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This means a hippo could take up a majority of your living room! Hippos typically live for around 45 years. It is even tougher than elephants. Hippos also exhibit some pretty gross methods of marking their territory such as urinating backward or spinning their tails while excreting dung to scatter it over a wide area. That’s probably one of the most surprising hippopotamus facts of all. They then spend the next 8 months nursing the calf. Its weight sometimes reaches 4 tons. Adult male hippos can weigh about 3,300-pounds with females reaching 2,800-pounds. Some hippos may have up to 40 teeth because they can retain their milk teeth for several years after reaching adulthood. By Matt Ayres on March 23, 2018. Hippos may look lazy and sluggish, but don’t be deceived. All hippos have this ability. They have huge mouths with super sharp teeth and tusks and have been known to take down large animals such as buffalo, impala, and kudu. Baby hippos nurse underwater by closing their nostrils and ears, but they also nurse on land as well. With their eyes, ears, and nostrils on the top of the head, hippos can hear, see, and breathe while most of their body is underwater. Quick Interesting facts about hippsos. When they are ready to return to the surface, they kick their hind legs to push off from the bottom and propel themselves upward. At 5 to 7 years old, the hippo calf is fully mature. When they are out of depth, the hippos will move by jumping in small bounds away from the bottom. However they evolved from them some good 50 years ago. We hope these hippopotamus facts have helped you learn more about one of Africa’s most amazing creatures. A rhino could stand a better chance of killing a hippo away from water because if a hippo can pull the rhino into its territory, it could be history for the rhino. A hippo's skin is bulletproof. Here are 10 Pros and Cons. Hippos lack scent and sweat glands. A group of hippos is sometimes called a bloat, pod, or siege. They are 3.3 to 5 meters (10.8 to 16.5 feet) long and up to 1.6 meters (5.2 feet) tall at shoulders. The hippo’s yawn is not a sign of sleepiness or boredom but is actually a threat gesture, displaying long, thick, razor-sharp canine teeth, or tusks, with which it is capable of biting a small boat in half. 12 Best Binoculars for the Money [Buyers Guide], Complete African Safari Packing List [Checklist and Guide], 16 Best Anti-theft Backpacks, Purses, Wallets, and Locks [Buyers Guide], How to Choose the Best Portable Water Filter / Purifier [Buyers Guide], 11 Best Sun Protection Hats: Travelers Guide for Men, Women, Children, How Strong is a Gorilla? Can you believe they eat up to 150 pounds (68 kg) a night? They also make a deep, scary laughing sound that is really a warning signal. Hippos give birth underwater where they are the safest, but it's usually in shallow water. Many of these herds contain females, but bachelor hippos are allowed inside the community as long as they know to respect the bull hippo and not flirt with any of the females. At birth the calf weighs between 23 to 50 … Hippos make a great deal of noise. Hippos sink to the bottom of the water and then move by walking, trotting, jogging or running. To understand how powerful of a bite that truly is, compare it to the human bite force of 200 pounds per square inch. A group of hippos in known as a ‘herd’, ‘pod’, ‘dale’ or ‘bloat’. They grunt, grumble, bellow, roar, honk, humph, and wheeze loudly. Dominant male has the right to mate with all adult females in his herd, although he sometimes allows subordinate males in and around his territory to mate. 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Are many great facts about hippos: 25 fun facts about their size shape... Silverback Strength vs humans ( Grizzly, Lion, Croc ), Thinking about living in Switzerland to outswim!... Its first eight months top part, otters, and a female a caw lakes, 50 facts about hippos hippos. Clear membrane covers and protects their eyes while allowing them to reach for the next 8 nursing... Sale of it is more accurate to say that hippos are the top part birth the calf able!
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