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Sole Hippo, Mara River, Tanzania  Africa,Hippopotamus,Hippopotamus amphibius,Serengeti National Park,Serengeti North,Serengeti area,Tanzania Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

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  1. From today's JungleDragon Facebook post:

    "Happy National Hippo Day! On this special day, we are shining a spotlight the Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius).

    Some interesting facts:

    1. Despite being a semi-aquatic mammal, the hippo is not an adept swimmer. Fortunately, it can ambulate rather well in underwater environments, walking and trotting along river bottoms with much ease.

    2. The hippo is capable of holding its breath for up to 7 minutes, but it usually resurfaces for air every 3 to 5 minutes. Resurfacing is regulated by the autonomic nervous system, so even the sleeping hippo will automatically come up for air!

    3. The hippopotamus spends the majority of its days in water, not only to escape the powerful African heat but to protect its sensitive skin. Its skin is completely devoid of scent and sweat glands, so it secretes a red oily substance with antibacterial and UV-protective properties from its mucous glands when foraging on land.

    4. The word "hippopotamus" translates to "river horse" from the Greek language.

    5. The hippopotamus has an average weight range of 1500 to 3200 kg. Coitus occurs underwater as the full weight of a male hippo (on land) would likely crush a female. Newborn calves weigh between 23 and 45 kg!

    6. The closest living relatives of the hippo are whales and porpoises. Hippos are descendants of anthracotheres, a long-extinct group of even-toed, herbivorous, semi-aquatic mammals.

    7. The hippo can open its mouth to a mind-blowing 150 to 180 degrees. This display is not only used to scare off other males, but it also attracts the attention of potential mates.

    8. The hippo is highly aggressive and unpredictable, making it one of the most feared animals in Africa.

    9. Hippos are gregarious and live in groups of 10-100 individuals called pods. They are also referred to as herds, schools, dales, and bloats. Pods are led by a single dominant bull.

    10. Hippos were listed on the IUCN Redlist as Vulnerable in 2008. They face a definite threat of extinction as populations are on a steep decline due to poaching (for ivory teeth and for meat) and habitat loss."
    Posted 4 years ago
    1. Wonderful post, Lisa! To add a personal "learning": hippos are largely defined and perceived by their daytime behavior. In Tanzania, we learned it should be opposite: they really are nocturnal grazers. They come on land and feed on vegetation. That's their life. The daytime bathing, as you said, is only to protects its skin. Posted 4 years ago
      1. Awesome post, Lisa! I love the "fun facts" idea and will definitely be borrowing it... Posted 4 years ago
        1. Awww, thanks to you both!

          I guess I CAN come up with half-decent ideas when I'm tired (lazy)? Bahaha!
          Posted 4 years ago
          1. Some of the best ideas are born out of necessity <3 Posted 4 years ago

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The hippopotamus, or hippo, is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae . The name comes from the ancient Greek for "river horse" . After the elephant and rhinoceros, the hippopotamus is the third-largest type of land mammal and the heaviest extant artiodactyl.

Similar species: Even-toed Ungulates
Species identified by Ferdy Christant
View Ferdy Christant's profile

By Ferdy Christant

All rights reserved
Uploaded Mar 4, 2014. Captured Sep 5, 2013 12:22.
  • NIKON D800
  • f/6.3
  • 1/500s
  • ISO500
  • 400mm