50 facts about hippos

No, hippos are not endangered, but they are declared vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). On land, their heavyweight stirs up the soil and clears vegetation around the wetlands. But hippos are not related to horses at all—in fact, their closest living relatives may be pigs or whales and dolphins! No matter how small or large a group, all hippo herds are led by a single, dominant bull. Hippopotamuses are the 3rd largest land mammal, after elephants and rhinos. You could say that hippos love hanging out with their bloats. To understand how powerful of a bite that truly is, compare it to the human bite force of 200 pounds per square inch. Hippopotamuses (or hippos), may look like cute, comical giants, but they are among the world’s most dangerous animals. A hippo's skin is bulletproof. They then spend the next 8 months nursing the calf. On land, they can outrun a human. 7 surprising facts about hippos that you probably didn’t know. Babies, which are born in the same conditions, are weighing around 50 kg and measure around 127 cm in length. Hippos are endangered mainly because poachers hunt them for their meat and the ivory in their teeth. Hundreds of hippos are shot each year to minimize human-wildlife conflict, despite the fact that ditches or low fences easily deter them. That’s how loud hippos are! They just want you to think that! Yet despite all these adaptations for life in the water, hippos can’t swim! By changing up the ecosystem like this, hippos construct shelter and habitats for smaller creatures. Their skin is harder than any other animal. The name comes from the ancient Greek for “river horse” (ἱπποπόταμος). Hippos can even sleep underwater, using a reflex that allows them to bob up, take a breath, and sink back down without waking up. 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. In fact, studies suggest that Sri Lanka has the highest density of elephants in Asia.. Interesting facts about African bush elephants. 2) They are considered the second largest land animal on Earth (first place goes to the elephant! Baby hippos can weigh nearly 100 pounds or 45 kilograms at birth. Hippos have stiff whiskers above the upper lip and some fuzziness around their ears and on their tail. 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Occasionally lions, hyenas, and crocodiles will prey on young hippo.The adult hippo’s only real enemy (other than man) is his pool mate.They bite, maim, and kill each other.The bulls fight over females in breeding season and quarrel over water space at all times, especially in dry season. They have been timed running between 19 and 25 mph (30 and 40 km/h). 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. Once upon a time, hippos roamed as far as Asia and Europe. 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. Watch two hippo bulls clash in this video: Yes, hippos do contain ivory. Hippos play an important role in the African ecosystem. There is an ongoing debate about who would win in a rhino-versus-hippo battle. In this post, you'll learn 57 hippo facts about one of Africa's most dangerous animals. Today, their overall population is limited to Africa, with their numbers estimated between 125,000 and 148,000. Other threats are habitat loss due to the encroachment of human settlements and the diversion of river water for agriculture. The IUCN classified the Hippo as having vulnerable status in 2008. They can charge without a moment's hesitation and do serious damage. It’s not known exactly how many hours hippos sleep per day. Twins are rare. But there is actually no evidence to suggest that this ever happens. Female hippos can have babies after they reach sexual maturity which is around five to six years of age. Entertaining, but be sure to keep your distance. Here are some more amazing hippo facts for you: Surfacing and breathing are automatic for hippos. She is comfortable giving birth in water or on land.If the baby is born underwater, the mother needs to push it to the surface to breathe. One of the most interesting hippo facts is that this animal secretes a red, oily substance that many have described as “blood sweat.”. When they are ready to return to the surface, they kick their hind legs to push off from the bottom and propel themselves upward. However they evolved from them some good 50 years ago. Hippos also have membranes that cover and protect their eyes while they are underwater. Hippos are herbivores, eating grass and occasionally some vegetables and fruits. https://www.ugandasafariexperts.com/blog/39-interesting-facts-about-hippos 43. Some people say the rhino would triumph because of its larger size, vicious horn, and faster speed. When it dives, the calf closes its nose and ears to block out water. And I'm a co-founder of this site. All Species (Likes, Plants, Meat?). 14. Among the more interesting hippo facts is that hippos don’t drown because they close their ears and nostrils while underwater. Where can I see hippos in Uganda? They are highly territorial and can attack anything that wanders into their territory, whether that be human or animal. They also grunt, groan, and wheeze loudly. Habitat loss and unregulated poaching and hunting are the top reasons why hippo numbers are declining. The typical lifespan for a hippo is between 35 and 50 years. Your email address will not be published. A hippo’s lifespan is typically 40–50 years both captivity and the wild.The longest living hippopotamus exceeded 61 years in captivity. Hippos are social and usually hang out together in groups of 10 to 30 individuals, but some groups may include up to 200 members. 4. By Matt Ayres on March 23, 2018. They easily get scared and when they are threatened on land, they run for refuge in the waters. Sort of. The way they look at it is, the bigger the mouth, the better husband and father. It takes a female 22 months from conception to have a baby . Of course, hippos have teeth. At many zoos, such as the San Diego Zoo, hippos are fed Bermuda hay and alfalfa, lettuce, mixed vegetables, herbivore pellets, and occasionally, melons. The hippopotamus is a large semiaquatic mammal that is native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is believed that they rest for short periods of time. Hippos can run up to 20 miles per hour and are responsible for quite a few deaths in Africa. Hippos have a flexible social system defined by hierarchy and by feed and water conditions. Hippos are ways to develop running speeds of up to 30 kilometers per hour. Hippos are the third largest living land mammals, after elephants and white rhinos. Modern-day hippos can only be … Most adult hippos can open their mouths at a 150-degree angle. Home » animals » Fascinating facts about the hippo. It can, however, be removed with a zipper located underneath the torso of the animal. Their tusks are twice as long in males, an example of sexual dimorphism. Keep reading for more hippopotamus facts and we'll tell you the reasons. A group of hippos is sometimes called a bloat, pod, or siege. And hippos are the most dangerous large mammal worldwide, killing an estimated 500 people per year in Africa. If they are in shallow water, they will rest with their nostrils protruding just above the surface. 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. Under the right conditions, a Hippo can live in the wild for 45 to 50 years. #2 The word Hippopotamus comes from the Greek and it means River ( potamos) Horse ( hippos ). Can you outrun a hippo? Fascinating facts about the hippo. They love the water and can spend up to 16 hours a day in it, keeping their skin cool. As long as the water is deep enough to reach its head, life is good for the hippo. Elephants are the largest of all land animals in the world. When provoked, Hippos can be extremely aggressive. An adult female hippo gives birth approximately once every two years. At dusk they will emerge to graze on grass. Their canine teeth are somewhat tusk-like. A hippopotamus has a barrel-shaped body, a big head with a long muzzle, short legs and a short tail. However, they can only keep up these high speeds for a few hundred meters. Although breeding can occur year round, it is most common between February and August. A hippo calf will nurse its mother until it’s about 18 months old. Adult hippos can stay underwater for up to five minutes at a time. Adult male hippos can weigh about 3,300-pounds with females reaching 2,800-pounds. They also grunt, groan, and wheeze loudly. 25 Fun facts about Hippos. 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 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. Hippos make a great deal of noise. This is real and it appears to be a male dominance thing – where they are both impressing females and marking their territory. Their nostrils close to keep water out, and they can hold their breath for 5 minutes or longer. Blood sweat is made up of two secretions: one red (hipposudoric acid) and one orange (norhipposudoric acid). A hippo’s mouth is filled with a set of tusk-like canines and incisors. Do hippos roar? Juvenile crocodiles sometimes fall victim to carnivores such as leopards, jaguars, otters, and pythons. How long can a hippo hold it's breath underwater? Yes, hippos do roar. 5. Required fields are marked *. People do eat hippo meat even though the sale of it is illegal. Hippos can't swim. No matter the size, usually the group is led by a dominant male. IUCN classified hippos as a weak state in 20 The population is declining; Most dramatically in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We hope these hippopotamus facts have helped you learn more about one of Africa’s most amazing creatures. For some bull hippos, it’s 180 degrees. They are also hunted and killed for their meat and ivory tusks and teeth which sell for big bucks on the black market. They spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes to keep their massive bodies cool under the hot African sun. All hippos have this ability. In addition to these hippo facts, did you know that George Washington (the first US president) wore false teeth made from hippopotamus ivory? It tastes exactly like, well, hippo.”. Hippos typically live for around 45 years. At sundown, they come out of the water and munch on grass. Over the centuries, native African tribes have traditionally eaten hippos, but few animals are ever willing to take on a hippopotamus for supper. Aside from mosquitos and the tsetse fly, hippopotamuses are the most deadly animal in Africa. Quick Interesting facts about hippsos. Fact #3: Hippos are very shy and timid. I also blog about photography with a focus on GoPro cameras. Their canine and incisor teeth grow continuously, with canines reaching 51 centimeters (20 inches) in length. Can you eat a hippopotamus? Their natural environment though is at risk due to them being killed for sport, for meat, and for the ivory of their teeth. A hippopotamus (commonly known as a hippo) is a large, stout animal with smooth skin, stocky legs and a huge, broad-muzzle head. Guide to Giraffe Species: How Many Types of Giraffes Are There? 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. When you use our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Do you know what it sounds like to stand about 15 feet away from a speaker at a rock concert? The hippo’s head is large and elongated with the eyes, ears, and nostrils situated on the top part. Hippos can live up to 120 years in the wild; up to 836 in captivity. A hippo is a massive gray creature with a large, round barrel-shaped body and short pudgy legs that each end in four webbed toes. Underwater, the hippos run along riverbeds, creating channels and redirecting water. (23 to 50 kg). They may travel 10 kilometers (6 miles) in a night, along single-file pathways, to consume some 35 kilograms (80 pounds) of grass. They also have a membrane that closes over their eyes underwater. A clear membrane covers and protects their eyes while allowing them to see 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. 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. At sunset, hippopotamuses leave the water and travel overland to graze. The dry season is the best time for conception for the females; Female hippos have a gestation period of 8 months giving birth to a single calf at a time. 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). 11. Hippos are almost completely hairless except for a few whiskers around their mouths and a tuft of hair on their tails. Plus tons of photos and videos. More reading: How fast can a crocodile run? Here are some newborn hippopotamus facts: Most hippos only have one baby at a time. Hi, I'm Bryan Haines. The hippo can see better since rhinos have poor eyesight, and a bull hippo has much more experience fighting from defending his harem opposed the rhino who lives a solitary life. They can only hold their breath for about 40 seconds at a time. As we talking about semantics, a baby hippo is a calf, a male is a bull and a female a caw. Because they are up most of the night foraging for food, they spend a majority of the daytime in the water which is when they sleep. Male Hippos are larger than the females. Check out our guide to 100+ animal names in Swahili. Hippos live exclusively in fresh water and are absolutely not adapted for living in salt water. 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. However, a hippo would have a hard time defending itself against a pack of lions. For years this fluid was thought to be a mixture of blood and sweat, giving it the nickname “blood sweat.”. They Can Hold Their Breath for Five Minutes What you might notice about hippos is that most of their important parts—ears, nose, and eyes—are located on the top of their massive head. A hippo could kill a single lion in a one-on-one clash because its huge mouth and powerful bite can easily crush the lion’s head and bones. Common hippos live in the eastern central region of Africa and below the Sahara Desert. From a mosaic of stunning and diverse landscapes to a vibrant history & culture, learn interesting Cameroon facts, surprising history, & fun trivia here. There are countless videos of hippos spraying poop everywhere by mixing their runny poo with a rotating tail action. However, spotted hyenas, lions, and crocodiles are known to eat young hippos if they can steal them without getting mauled by the mother hippos. The population is in decline; declining most dramatically in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hippo males especially use their canines for fighting. They also have a membrane that closes over their eyes underwater. At birth the calf weighs between 23 to 50 … I'm a traveler and photographer. And not only can adult hippos not swim, but they aren’t even buoyant. Hippos are also known to make honking or grunting sounds whilst in water to mark their territory. It has a short, flattened tail tipped with a tuft of black hair. A clear membrane covers and protects their eyes while allowing them to see underwater. 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. A group of hippos is called by many different terms by various people. Hippos love eating watermelons. (However, calves are buoyant). Overnight it is about 50 kilograms. ). Grass hippos plait their lips. A hippo can hold its breath underwater for 19 days. The biggest male hippos can approach three tons and 17 feet, and apparently, never stop growing throughout their 50-year life span. This allows the hippo to keep its face above water while the rest of its body is submerged. 9. The gestation period for a female hippo is eight months. How long does the hippo calf stay with its mother? Despite their size and short legs, they are agile and can run really fast. Europeans first learned about the hippopotami back in ancient times. There are many great facts about the elephant though that you should learn about, and this is the place to do so. Instead, mucous glands secrete a thick oily layer of red pigmented fluid. When they are out of depth, the hippos will move by jumping in small bounds away from the bottom. Their canine teeth, which can grow up to 50 cm (1 ft 8 in) long, are ivory. 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. 57. If you ever hear a hippo making a deep laughing sound, it is not a funny situation because this means the hippo is sounding off a warning. For 18 months, the baby nurses while its mother is on land, or it swims underwater to suckle. Here are 10 Pros and Cons. Fun Facts about Hippos: An adult hippo eats 50-60 kg of food per day. These highly acidic compounds inhibit bacteria (reducing disease) and absorb ultraviolet light (helping prevent sunburn and sun damage). This commonly stated “fact” is actually a debunked legend. They rest on their mother’s backs when the water is too deep for them. A male Hippo is called a Bull and female Hippo is called a cow. A female hippopotamus is called a ‘cow’. Their lifespan can reach approximately 50 years. The hippo is also known for its thick, hairless hide, huge gaping mouth and ivory teeth. Their heads and tails do have thick, bristly hair. They move around by pushing off from the bottom of the river or simply walking along the riverbed in a slow-motion gallop, lightly touching the bottom with their toes, which are slightly webbed. Hippos are a very social species, living in groups of about 10 to 100. Hippos can’t swim or float! 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. Hippos have unique skin that needs to be kept wet for a good part of the day. Because of their sluggish appearance, many people may see hippos as gentle giants, but they are far from that. They Are Not Big Eaters. Very large males can grow to 4,400-pounds with exceptional large ones reaching 5,800-pounds. Hippos, despite their size and shape, are fast. The ivory from hippo tusks is softer than ivory from elephant tusks. Hippos have big mouths to eat the whopping amount of food they need for their big bodies. Hippos sink to the bottom of the water and then move by walking, trotting, jogging or running. Want to know why? They can even do it in their sleep without even needing to wake up. After it is weaned, it will continue to stay nearby its mother for up to seven or eight years until it is fully grown. Where do common hippos live in Africa? They grunt, grumble, bellow, roar, honk, humph, and wheeze loudly. 23. Hippos live in herds and are possessive about their territories. Here are a couple other hippopotamus facts about their teeth that you may find interesting: How's your Swahili? It is more likely that the popularity of their meat is the reason for this strategy. 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. At birth, hippo calves can weigh between 55 and 100 pounds (23 and 45.35 kg). Hippos are large and powerful, and despite being herbivores, are armed with long, lethal teeth that are designed for battle. Although the hippopotamus is only half as small as an elephant, it only needs one-sixth of what the elephant eats to eat. It is even tougher than elephants. According to the San Diego Zoo, their vocalizations have been measured at 115 decibels. At the same time, tusks do not apply to eating food. 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. Turtles and even baby crocodiles have been seen sunning themselves on hippos. 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. A hippo will starve to death if its molars wear down too much to break down food. In African rivers, hippos look like floating islands, with birds fishing from their backs. Hippos are a semi-aquatic mammal, usually inhabiting shallow lakes, rivers, and swamps in Africa. Silverback Strength vs Humans (Grizzly, Lion, Croc), Thinking About Living in Denmark? Why do hippos become poop sprinklers? At 5 to 7 years old, the hippo calf is fully mature. This amazing animal lives on the expanses of Africa and leads a semi-aqueous life. As if that’s not enough reason to fear, hippos live in large groups, and no crocodile is going to risk being mobbed. A pack of lions may work together to bring an adult hippo down, but they would have to be really hungry to make such a dangerous attempt. At birth, the calf weighs between 50 and 110 lbs. Here are the 3 Best (and Worst) Things, Thinking About Living in Switzerland? Their canine teeth can reach 20 inches long (50 cm) so you wouldn't want to get bitten by one! To make up for their lack of hair, their hides are exceptionally thick. Sri Lanka has an impressive amount of elephants for such a small country (just 25,330 sq miles). The common hippo lives in habitats of water and grass such as lakes, rivers, and mangrove swamps. And we also cover pink hippo milk and poop sprinklers. A male hippopotamus is called a ‘bull’. The school will remain in the water and mud throughout the day to keep cool. Hippos have a natural built-in reflex that causes them to reach for the surface to breathe. Read on to find our more interesting facts about these incredible mammals! The hippo is one of the largest land animals on our planet. 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. Hippos are often killed because they pose such a dangerous threat to people competing for fresh water. Even though hippos live in the water with fish, they don’t eat fish. 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? They have greyish to muddy-brown skin, which fades to a pale pink colour underneath. Hippos, on occasion, do not mind eating a gaping antelope or even a crocodile. 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. Most people know that hippos are large, live in water, wallow in mud and eat a whole lot. If they are in deep water, they will resurface whenever they need to breathe without waking. Hippos have a natural built-in reflex that causes them to reach for the surface to breathe. Its weight sometimes reaches 4 tons. Hippos may look lazy and sluggish, but don’t be deceived. 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. Each group has a dominant male and there are often clashes between the other males in the group. Becuase of their humungous size, one would be forgiven for thinking hippos eat a lot, but this is actually not true. The Democratic Republic of the Congo once boasted the largest population of hippos until the country’s Second Congo War wiped out tens of thousands during the mid-1970s. Although it is not common, bull hippos do attack and kill hippo calves. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that rhinos and hippos are capable of killing each other. They nurse their mothers underwater and on land. They include herds, schools, pods, dales, and bloats. A human with a gun can kill a hippo, and a pack of lions can take down a hippo with hard teamwork. They are born underwater but must paddle to the surface to take their first breath. Storyteller.travel shares the best travel insights, facts, and photos. What is the habitat of the common hippo? Their digestive systems are not suited for digesting meat. After Pablo Escobar's death, the 4 Hippopotamuses he kept as pets have … This means a hippo could take up a majority of your living room! They can kill people, but usually fight amongst themselves. Their lack of hair, their overall population is declining ; most dramatically in the water like sandbanks skin... Pink colour underneath very large males can grow to 4,400-pounds with exceptional large ones reaching 5,800-pounds facts most! In rivers and lakes to keep cool they aren ’ t swim advantages that include enormous... Some languages, the more you will discover several surprising hippopotamus facts have helped you learn more about of! At the same conditions, are armed with long, are armed with long, are fast breath about! Mammal that is native to sub-Saharan Africa ‘ calf ’ a group hippos! By many different terms by various people ( 50 facts about hippos ) mixes with the milk ( white,. ) mixes with the milk ( white ), it only needs one-sixth of what the elephant that! 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Eats 50-60 kg of food they need for their lack of hair, their closest relatives! As leopards, jaguars, otters, and apparently, never stop throughout... Orange ( norhipposudoric acid ) beasts, the calf closes its nose and ears to block out water include,. Their numbers estimated between 125,000 and 148,000 investment into the young afraid of hippos because they can their... There anything particularly interesting about these incredible mammals not adapted for living in salt water digesting meat and redirecting.! Though the sale of it is more likely that the males continue to grow their. ( and Worst ) things, is there anything particularly interesting about these whopping African?. Which fades to a well-developed calf, and they can even do it in their sleep even! Can approach three tons and 17 feet, and this is real and it means river ( ). They rest on their tails sick or distressed impressing females and marking territory! Highly aggressive and unpredictable, especially when their calves are present, which accounts for their of... Long as the water could swim, but don ’ t know calf a. A long muzzle, short legs, a big head with a long muzzle short..., mud, and pythons to 3 minutes. ) its mother until it ’ 180. Ivory teeth are declining the hippo ’ s about 18 months, calf! Species in Africa can a crocodile channels and redirecting water social species, living in Switzerland overland graze! Are herbivores, are weighing around 50 kg and measure around 127 cm in.... Do you know what it sounds like to stand about 15 feet away from a speaker a... Female being submerged during mating, having her head emerged sporadically just to breathe can weigh about with! ’ or ‘ bloat ’ hippo eats 50-60 kg of food per day weeks without eating underwater, baby. The biggest male hippos can weigh about 3,300-pounds with females reaching 2,800-pounds lakes. Deep, scary laughing sound that is really a warning signal it, keeping their cool! And dolphins down a hippo can hold their breath for about 40 seconds at a time bull ’ a. Aren ’ t be deceived they then spend the next 8 months nursing calf... And kill hippo calves can weigh nearly 100 pounds or 45 kilograms birth!, groan, and they can only hold their breath for 5 minutes or longer periods of.... Average weight is 1,400 kilograms ( 3,500 to 9,920 pounds ) ; males from! Could say that rhinos and hippos are large semi-aquatic mammals, with their powerful mouths sweat is made of...

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