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The Hippopotamus
hippopotamus

This is the, whose hide alone can weigh half a ton, is the third-largest living land mammal, after elephants and white rhinos. A hippo’s foot has four webbed toes which splay out to distribute weight evenly and therefore adequately support it on land.

About The Third-largest living land mammal
hippopotamus

Parks Where Found

Lakes Where Found

Physical Characteristics

  • The hippopotamus is the third largest land animal
  • Hippopotamus have large, barrel-shaped bodies
  • Short legs and a huge heads
  • Generally weighs about 2,500-3,000 pounds
  • Can run up to 20 mph (miles per hour)

Natural Environment

The large hippo, found in East Africa, occurs south of the Sahara in areas of deep water with adjacent reed beds. They spend their day resting in water, eating water plants, and sunning themselves on sand banks

Behaviour

Hippos have a flexible social system defined by hierarchy and by food and water conditions. Usually they are found in mixed groups of about 15 individuals held by a territorial bull, but in periods of drought large numbers are forced to congregate near limited pools of water.

This overcrowding disrupts the hierarchical system, resulting in even higher levels of aggression, with the oldest and strongest males most dominant. Old scars and fresh, deep wounds are signs of daily fights that are accompanied by many vocalizations.

Diet

Hippos often traverse steep banks each night to graze on grass. They exit and enter the water at the same spots and graze for four to five hours, covering one or two miles, with extended forays of up to five miles.

Predators and Threats

Hippos have been by shot by humans due to their fat, ivory tusks, as well as the land on which they graze.

Facts for Fun

  • The hippo is the third-largest living land mammal, after elephants and white rhinos.
  • The name hippopotamus comes from the Greek "hippos," meaning horse, these animals were once called "river horses." But the hippo is more closely related to the pig than the horse.
  • Hippos spend most of their day in water close to shore lying on their bellies. In areas undisturbed by people, hippos lie on the shore in the morning sun.
Herbivores

Giraffe

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