Required fields are marked *. The hippo’s head is large and elongated with the eyes, ears, and nostrils situated on the top part. It is believed that they rest for short periods of time. Hippos vocalize on both land and in the water and are the only mammals that make amphibious calls. Despite their size and short legs, they are agile and can run really fast. A female hippopotamus is called a ‘cow’. In fact, studies suggest that Sri Lanka has the highest density of elephants in Asia.. 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. In African rivers, hippos look like floating islands, with birds fishing from their backs. If they are in shallow water, they will rest with their nostrils protruding just above the surface. In theory, when the hipposudoric acid (red) mixes with the milk (white), it produces a pink solution. Although breeding can occur year round, it is most common between February and August. For some bull hippos, it’s 180 degrees. They just want you to think that! Under the right conditions, a Hippo can live in the wild for 45 to 50 years. Female hippos can have babies after they reach sexual maturity which is around five to six years of age. Tusk clashing consists of males locking teeth and wrestling. Here are some more amazing hippo facts for you: Surfacing and breathing are automatic for hippos. From a mosaic of stunning and diverse landscapes to a vibrant history & culture, learn interesting Cameroon facts, surprising history, & fun trivia here. Yet despite all these adaptations for life in the water, hippos can’t swim! A human with a gun can kill a hippo, and a pack of lions can take down a hippo with hard teamwork. 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. Hippos have a natural built-in reflex that causes them to reach for the surface to breathe. Their canine teeth can reach 20 inches long (50 cm) so you wouldn't want to get bitten by one! 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. 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. Your email address will not be published. Hippos live exclusively in fresh water and are absolutely not adapted for living in salt water. Plus tons of photos and videos. Turtles and even baby crocodiles have been seen sunning themselves on hippos. Hippos can't swim. Hi, I'm Bryan Haines. In fact, they have 36 teeth that include one canine, two incisors, three premolars, and three molars on each side of their jaws. These highly acidic compounds inhibit bacteria (reducing disease) and absorb ultraviolet light (helping prevent sunburn and sun damage). You'll see many Ugandan animals, including hippos, elephants, cape buffalo, marabou stork, and nile crocodiles. This is real and it appears to be a male dominance thing – where they are both impressing females and marking their territory. 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. They have thick, mostly hairless skin. Aside from mosquitos and the tsetse fly, hippopotamuses are the most deadly animal in Africa. Female adults, on the other hand, usually weigh a couple hundred pounds less than the males, and they stop growing around the age of 25 (even though they share the same lifespan as males). 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. Hippos can run up to 20 miles per hour and are responsible for quite a few deaths in Africa. At dusk they will emerge to graze on grass. Although it is not common, bull hippos do attack and kill hippo calves. Quick Interesting facts about hippsos. They are enormous creatures that can crush you in a heartbeat or drown you by overturning your boat. 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. Yes, hippos do roar. That’s how loud hippos are! Babies, which are born in the same conditions, are weighing around 50 kg and measure around 127 cm in length. At sundown, they come out of the water and munch on grass. It's also interesting that their groups are called schools because adults actually do teach their young many important things such how to defend themselves. By changing up the ecosystem like this, hippos construct shelter and habitats for smaller creatures. That’s probably one of the most surprising hippopotamus facts of all. A hippopotamus has a barrel-shaped body, a big head with a long muzzle, short legs and a short tail. Baby hippos can weigh nearly 100 pounds or 45 kilograms at birth. After it is weaned, it will continue to stay nearby its mother for up to seven or eight years until it is fully grown. Want to know why? The common hippo lives in habitats of water and grass such as lakes, rivers, and mangrove swamps. Hippos may look lazy and sluggish, but don’t be deceived. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that rhinos and hippos are capable of killing each other. They stay in the water with their mother for the first several days until they gain strength. 57. Hippos have stiff whiskers above the upper lip and some fuzziness around their ears and on their tail. 1) Hippos are large semi-aquatic mammals, with a large barrel-shaped body, short legs, a short tail and an enormous head! Hippos have unique skin that needs to be kept wet for a good part of the day. There are two species of hippopotamus: the common hippo and the much smaller pygmy hippo. They need to resurface every 3 to 5 minutes to breathe. How long can a hippo hold it's breath underwater? Modern-day hippos can only be … A tusk clash is somewhat similar to a pair of deer locking antlers. Hippos aren't the world's largest land mammals—that honor belongs, by a hair, to the largest breeds of elephants and rhinoceroses—but they come pretty close. Over the centuries, native African tribes have traditionally eaten hippos, but few animals are ever willing to take on a hippopotamus for supper. They are one of the loudest animal species in Africa. 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. 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. And hippos are the most dangerous large mammal worldwide, killing an estimated 500 people per year in Africa. 11. Type: Mammals Diet: Herbivore Life expectancy: Up to 40 years Size: head and body, 2.8 to 4.2 meters; Tail, 35 to 50 … At the same time, tusks do not apply to eating food. 10. They also grunt, groan, and wheeze loudly. They also have a membrane that closes over their eyes underwater. The way they look at it is, the bigger the mouth, the better husband and father. Although the hippo spends a most of its time in water, the hippos are not good at swimming. 2) They are considered the second largest land animal on Earth (first place goes to the elephant! Instead, mucous glands secrete a thick oily layer of red pigmented fluid. Although the hippopotamus is only half as small as an elephant, it only needs one-sixth of what the elephant eats to eat. Twins are rare. 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. They walk or stand on surfaces below the water like sandbanks. It is even tougher than elephants. Entertaining, but be sure to keep your distance. No matter the size, usually the group is led by a dominant male. Hippos, despite their size and shape, are fast. Hippos are a very social species, living in groups of about 10 to 100. And not only can adult hippos not swim, but they aren’t even buoyant. This allows the hippo to keep its face above water while the rest of its body is submerged. At many zoos, such as the San Diego Zoo, hippos are fed Bermuda hay and alfalfa, lettuce, mixed vegetables, herbivore pellets, and occasionally, melons. They can kill people, but usually fight amongst themselves. All Species (Likes, Plants, Meat?). Silverback Strength vs Humans (Grizzly, Lion, Croc), Thinking About Living in Denmark? Females have a gestation period of eight months and have only one baby at a time. As we talking about semantics, a baby hippo is a calf, a male is a bull and a female a caw. 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. 14. The hippo is one of the largest land animals on our planet. This commonly stated “fact” is actually a debunked legend. This amazing animal lives on the expanses of Africa and leads a semi-aqueous life. When it dives, the calf closes its nose and ears to block out water. Hippos are also known to make honking or grunting sounds whilst in water to mark their territory. 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. Their lifespan can reach approximately 50 years. A hippo can hold its breath underwater for 19 days. Why do male hippos attack baby hippos? It takes a female 22 months from conception to have a baby . Hippos also have membranes that cover and protect their eyes while they are underwater. For example, the hippo dung fertilizes water plants, and some fish directly eat the hippo dung while other fish eat insects that have previously fed off it. Male Hippos are larger than the females. Even so, they spend most of the day in water to protect their sensitive skin from the sun. You'll learn about their size, habits, physical traits. 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. 34. A hippo needs plenty of water to accommodate its large size, but it usually doesn’t like water that is too deep or too shallow. Home » animals » Fascinating facts about the hippo. Most animals won’t attempt to tango with a crocodile, but hippos have been known to kill them if their space is invaded. Hippos have a flexible social system defined by hierarchy and by feed and water conditions. 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. 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. ). Hippos, on occasion, do not mind eating a gaping antelope or even a crocodile. 23. Their digestive systems are not suited for digesting meat. 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. Elephants are the largest of all land animals in the world. Experts believe hippos that eat meat are nutrient-deficient, sick or distressed. A group of hippos in known as a ‘herd’, ‘pod’, ‘dale’ or ‘bloat’. They have been timed running between 19 and 25 mph (30 and 40 km/h). A group of hippos is called by many different terms by various people. The IUCN classified the Hippo as having vulnerable status in 2008. 35. 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. Some hippos may have up to 40 teeth because they can retain their milk teeth for several years after reaching adulthood. They love the water and can spend up to 16 hours a day in it, keeping their skin cool. The gestation period for a female hippo is eight months. A group of hippos is sometimes called a bloat, pod, or siege. However they evolved from them some good 50 years ago. 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. Simply put, crocodiles are afraid of hippos because they can break a crocodile’s back with one single chomp. Keep reading for more hippopotamus facts and we'll tell you the reasons. Hippos are known for giving birth to a well-developed calf, and this is happening every couple of years. Their natural environment though is at risk due to them being killed for sport, for meat, and for the ivory of their teeth. Another reason is that hippo cows love big bull mouths. Of course, hippos also use their big mouths as a defense against anything that invades their territory or threatens their calves. 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. 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. Hippos have big mouths to eat the whopping amount of food they need for their big bodies. Hippos can even sleep underwater, using a reflex that allows them to bob up, take a breath, and sink back down without waking up. An adult hippo eats 50-60 kg of food per day. They can charge without a moment's hesitation and do serious damage. 25 Fun facts about Hippos. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Most adult hippos can open their mouths at a 150-degree angle. Juvenile crocodiles sometimes fall victim to carnivores such as leopards, jaguars, otters, and pythons. 50 Surprising Facts about Sudan Take the road unknown to discover golden pyramids adorning a searing desert, gardens of coral in a premier dive spot, and many more surprising Sudan facts. No matter how small or large a group, all hippo herds are led by a single, dominant bull. And I'm a co-founder of this site. I am not sure what hippo meat tastes like, but I have heard it tastes bland. Their canine and incisor teeth grow continuously, with canines reaching 51 centimeters (20 inches) in length. Most people know that hippos are large, live in water, wallow in mud and eat a whole lot. Hippos give birth underwater where they are the safest, but it's usually in shallow water. Hippos make a great deal of noise. Hippos may look lazy and sluggish, but don’t be deceived. Among the more interesting hippo facts is that hippos don’t drown because they close their ears and nostrils while underwater. Fact #3: Hippos are very shy and timid. So, you won't be able to outswim them! Can you eat a hippopotamus? To understand how powerful of a bite that truly is, compare it to the human bite force of 200 pounds per square inch. Are hippos Africa's most dangerous animal? However, spotted hyenas, lions, and crocodiles are known to eat young hippos if they can steal them without getting mauled by the mother hippos. Here are 10 Pros and Cons. They may travel 10 kilometers (6 miles) in a night, along single-file pathways, to consume some 35 kilograms (80 pounds) of grass. Do hippos roar? 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. After elephants and white rhinos, hippos are the third-largest living mammal. Interesting facts about African bush elephants. On land, their heavyweight stirs up the soil and clears vegetation around the wetlands. Can you believe they eat up to 150 pounds (68 kg) a night? Just remember to keep a safe distance from them! A baby hippo is called a ‘calf’. IUCN classified hippos as a weak state in 20 The population is declining; Most dramatically in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 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 can live up to 120 years in the wild; up to 836 in captivity. 5. Hippos are almost completely hairless except for a few whiskers around their mouths and a tuft of hair on their tails. It can, however, be removed with a zipper located underneath the torso of the animal. Once upon a time, hippos roamed as far as Asia and Europe. At 5 to 7 years old, the hippo calf is fully mature. People do eat hippo meat even though the sale of it is illegal. They secrete an oily red substance that acts as a moisturiser, sunblock and protects them from germs. 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. The school will remain in the water and mud throughout the day to keep cool. 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. 42. They also make a deep, scary laughing sound that is really a warning signal. Their tusks are twice as long in males, an example of sexual dimorphism. You could say that hippos love hanging out with their bloats. Here are a couple other hippopotamus facts about their teeth that you may find interesting: How's your Swahili? An adult female hippo gives birth approximately once every two years. A clear membrane covers and protects their eyes while allowing them to see underwater. At birth, hippo calves can weigh between 55 and 100 pounds (23 and 45.35 kg). Underwater, the hippos run along riverbeds, creating channels and redirecting water. What is the habitat of the common hippo? Hippos love eating watermelons. After Pablo Escobar's death, the 4 Hippopotamuses he kept as pets have … Quick Facts. If they are in deep water, they will resurface whenever they need to breathe without waking. Watch two hippo bulls clash in this video: Yes, hippos do contain ivory. The typical lifespan for a hippo is between 35 and 50 years. 4. I also blog about photography with a focus on GoPro cameras. In zoos, hippos are sometimes given whole watermelons, and they devour them, crushing them with their powerful mouths. Hippos can’t swim or float! Hippos are highly aggressive and unpredictable, especially when their calves are present, which is why they are considered so dangerous. In addition to these hippo facts, did you know that George Washington (the first US president) wore false teeth made from hippopotamus ivory? Blood sweat is made up of two secretions: one red (hipposudoric acid) and one orange (norhipposudoric acid). 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. The hippopotamus is a large semiaquatic mammal that is native to sub-Saharan Africa. Hippo males especially use their canines for fighting. Europeans first learned about the hippopotami back in ancient times. (Baby hippos need to breathe every 2 to 3 minutes.). Is it legal? 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. Where can I see hippos in Uganda? Hippopotamuses (or hippos), may look like cute, comical giants, but they are among the world’s most dangerous animals. Some people say a rhino can kill a hippo, but there is much debate about that. They can even do it in their sleep without even needing to wake up. A clear membrane covers and protects their eyes while allowing them to see underwater. Hippos are huge, docile mammals. They are born underwater but must paddle to the surface to take their first breath. The more you learn about these semi-aquatic beasts, the more you will discover several surprising hippopotamus facts. Their heads and tails do have thick, bristly hair. Habitat loss and unregulated poaching and hunting are the top reasons why hippo numbers are declining. Becuase of their humungous size, one would be forgiven for thinking hippos eat a lot, but this is actually not true. They rest on their mother’s backs when the water is too deep for them.