Hippopotamus Facts - Everything You Need to Know

Hippopotamus Facts – Everything You Need to Know

Hippopotamuses (Hippopotamus amphibius) are water-loving, big, spherical mammals endemic to Africa. Although hippos as well as horses are not closely related, the name “hippopotamus” originates from the Greek word for “water horse” or “river horse.” Pigs, whales, as well as dolphins are hippos’ closest living cousins, according to the San Diego Zoo.

What do Hippos Eat?

Hippos graze on land- they do not eat when they are in water and aren’t known to graze on aquatic plants. They generally prefer short, creeping grass and small green shoots and reeds. While they will eat other vegetation if it’s there, they tend to avoid coarser grasses that are more difficult to digest, and do not root in the dirt for buried roots or fruits.

What do Hippos Eat?

Hippopotamus Size

According to Animal Planet, hippos are the third biggest living l as well as mammals after elephants as well as white rhinos. They may reach a length of 10.8 to 16.5 feet (3.3 to 5 meters) as well as a height of 5.2 feet (1.6 meters) at the shoulder. According to the San Diego Zoo, the typical female weighs approximately 3,000 pounds (1,400 kilograms), while males range between 3,500  as well as 9,920 pounds (1,600  as well as 4,500 kilograms).

Hippopotamus Habitat

Hippos can only be found in Sub-Saharan Africa. They like watery environments since they spend the majority of their time underwater to keep their skin cool as well as wet. According to National Geographic, hippos spend up to 16 hours every day in the water, making them amphibious animals.

Hippos are gregarious creatures that congregate in groups known as schools, bloats, pods, or sieges. Hippos’ schools typically include 10 to 30 members, including both males as well as females, while some groups have as many as 200. The school is generally commanded by a powerful guy, regardless of its size.

Hippos make a lot of noise. According to the San Diego Zoo, their snorts, grumbles,  as well as wheezes have been recorded at 115 decibels, which is roughly the same level as a rock concert at 15 feet (4.6 m). Subsonic vocalizations are also used by these thunderous species to communicate.

Hippos are known to be aggressive as well as deadly. They have huge fangs  as well as tusks, which they use to defend themselves against predators, including humans. Their young are sometimes victims of adult hippos’ rage. A baby hippo caught in the midst of a conflict between two adults may be gravely injured or even crushed.

Hippos can readily travel through the water, but they cannot swim. These creatures glide over the water by pushing themselves off other things, according to the San Diego Zoo. According to National Geographic, they can remain under water for up to 5 minutes without coming up for air.

Hungry, hungry hippos

Hippos eat largely plants  as well as have a robust appetite. Adults consume roughly 80 pounds (35 kilograms) of grass each night, going up to 6 miles (10 kilometers) to do it. According to National Geographic, they also devour fruit that they collect during their overnight scavenge. Hippos can store food in their bellies as well as spend up to three weeks without eating if food is short.

Hippos were always thought to be solely herbivorous, but a 2015 research published in the journal Mammal Review discovered that they sometimes eat the corpses of other species, even other hippos.

Hippos in their early stages

According to the San Diego Zoo, female hippos have an eight-month gestation period  as well as only have one kid at a time. The calf weighs between 50  as well as 110 pounds at birth (23 to 50 kg). The calf nurses when its mother is on l as well as for the first eight months, or it dives underwater to breastfeed. The calf covers its snout  as well as ears to keep water out as it dives. This skill is shared by all hippos. Hippos have membranes that shield as well as protect their eyes underwater.

The hippo calf is completely developed around 5 to 7 years old, according to the San Diego Zoo. A hippo’s average life expectancy is 36 years.

Hippopotamus  Attacks on human?

The hippopotamus is the deadliest big terrestrial animal on the planet. According to the BBC, these semiaquatic monsters murder an estimated 500 people in Africa each year. Hippos are aggressive animals that are well-equipped to do significant harm to anything that enters their area.

According to an Australian news agency, a hippo attacked a tiny, unsuspecting boat loaded with Nigerian school children in 2014, killing twelve pupils  as well as one teacher on board. When hippos stray onto l as well as in search of food, they might get into fights with people.

Hippopotamus Conservation status

The common hippo is not endangered, although it is threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). According to the IUCN, there are between 125,000  as well as 148,000 hippos left in the wild. According to the IUCN, poaching  as well as habitat destruction lowered worldwide hippo populations in the late 1990s  as well as early 2000s, but the population has since plateaued owing to stronger law enforcement.

Hippos that are invading

On his farm in northern Colombia, notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar famously maintained hippos, giraffes, elephants,  as well as other exotic creatures. The Colombian authorities took all of Escobar’s possessions, including his menagerie, after he was slain in 1993. The majority of his animals were sent to zoos  as well as aquariums, but his four hippos were left on their own. These four critters found their way into Colombia’s rivers  as well as proliferated. According to a study conducted by scientists at the University of California, San Diego, between 40  as well as 60 of their offspring walk the countryside today. Hippos sometimes trample crops  as well as attack at people, making this invasive population a hazard to the community. Many Colombians, on the other h as well as, have become fond of the unwanted ungulates  as well as are adamantly opposed to their deportation. However, other experts are concerned that the creatures’ ongoing presence may result in unexpected repercussions. In a statement, Nelson Aranguren-Riao, a biologist at Colombia’s Pedagogical  as well as Technological University, stated, “The danger to local species — such as manatees, turtles,  as well as fish — is substantial,  as well as the environmental impact is uncertain.”

Colombian wildlife authorities neutered a few male hippos to try to curb the population’s expansion, but there are no plans to move or sterilize the whole species at this time.

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