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. The hippo’s head is large and elongated with the eyes, ears, and nostrils situated on the top part. However, they can only keep up these high speeds for a few hundred meters. Here are 17 Interesting Hippopotamus facts. They are one of the loudest animal species in Africa. It takes a female 22 months from conception to have a baby . No matter the size, usually the group is led by a dominant male. Interesting facts about African bush elephants. At 5 to 7 years old, the hippo calf is fully mature. Because of their sluggish appearance, many people may see hippos as gentle giants, but they are far from that. An adult hippo eats 50-60 kg of food per day. Habitat loss and unregulated poaching and hunting are the top reasons why hippo numbers are declining. Babies, which are born in the same conditions, are weighing around 50 kg and measure around 127 cm in length. Adult hippos can stay underwater for up to five minutes at a time. That’s probably one of the most surprising hippopotamus facts of all. Your email address will not be published. 4. The ivory from hippo tusks is softer than ivory from elephant tusks. Female hippos have a gestation period of eight months and have only one baby at a time, according to the San Diego Zoo. 35. Several fish species in Africa can keep busy feeding on the food remnants and dead skin cells found on the hippo’s skin. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. We hope these hippopotamus facts have helped you learn more about one of Africa’s most amazing creatures. Hippos are a semi-aquatic mammal, usually inhabiting shallow lakes, rivers, and swamps in Africa. How long does the hippo calf stay with its mother? Hippos also exhibit some pretty gross methods of marking their territory such as urinating backward or spinning their tails while excreting dung to scatter it over a wide area. 7 surprising facts about hippos that you probably didn’t know. Hippos are the third largest living land mammals, after elephants and white rhinos. Although the hippopotamus is only half as small as an elephant, it only needs one-sixth of what the elephant eats to eat. Hippopotamuses (or hippos), may look like cute, comical giants, but they are among the world’s most dangerous animals. 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. Even though humans are killed more by hippos than any other animal in Africa, hippos are not likely to eat a human because they are herbivores. That’s how loud hippos are! After elephants and white rhinos, hippos are the third-largest living mammal. A hippo's skin is bulletproof. A hippopotamus has a barrel-shaped body, a big head with a long muzzle, short legs and a short tail. 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. 5. Europeans first learned about the hippopotami back in ancient times. The way they look at it is, the bigger the mouth, the better husband and father. However, they can move underwater at a speed of 15 mph (8 km/h). You'll see many Ugandan animals, including hippos, elephants, cape buffalo, marabou stork, and nile crocodiles. 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. Today, their overall population is limited to Africa, with their numbers estimated between 125,000 and 148,000. When provoked, Hippos can be extremely aggressive. As if that’s not enough reason to fear, hippos live in large groups, and no crocodile is going to risk being mobbed. There are countless videos of hippos spraying poop everywhere by mixing their runny poo with a rotating tail action. In some languages, the name has been translated to “river horse”. Hippos are social and usually hang out together in groups of 10 to 30 individuals, but some groups may include up to 200 members. #2 The word Hippopotamus comes from the Greek and it means River ( potamos) Horse ( hippos ). Where can I see hippos in Uganda? They also make a deep, scary laughing sound that is really a warning signal. Do hippos roar? Neither blood nor sweat, this secretion is a natural sunscreen that protects the hippo’s naked skin from the harsh African sun. 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. Hippos can't swim. Hippos are estimated to kill about 500 people per year in Africa. Hippos use these enlarged teeth for fighting. Hippos play an important role in the African ecosystem. By Matt Ayres on March 23, 2018. Blood sweat is made up of two secretions: one red (hipposudoric acid) and one orange (norhipposudoric acid). However they evolved from them some good 50 years ago. Hippos are threatened by habitat loss and poachers who hunt them for their meat and teeth. The typical lifespan for a hippo is between 35 and 50 years. Here are 10 Pros and Cons. Yes, hippos do roar. Hippos are a semi-aquatic mammal, usually inhabiting shallow lakes, rivers, and swamps in Africa. They can charge without a moment's hesitation and do serious damage. 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. #3 Hippos are herbivores which means they only eat plant life. Other threats are habitat loss due to the encroachment of human settlements and the diversion of river water for agriculture. Fascinating facts about the hippo. Twins are rare. They include herds, schools, pods, dales, and bloats. Their nostrils close to keep water out, and they can hold their breath for 5 minutes or longer. At birth, hippo calves can weigh between 55 and 100 pounds (23 and 45.35 kg). Hippos may look lazy and sluggish, but don’t be deceived. Of course, hippos also use their big mouths as a defense against anything that invades their territory or threatens their calves. 1-5 Hippopotamus Facts 1. As long as the water is deep enough to reach its head, life is good for the hippo. Hippos are a very social species, living in groups of about 10 to 100. But hippos are not related to horses at all—in fact, their closest living relatives may be pigs or whales and dolphins! They also have a membrane that closes over their eyes underwater. 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. 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. Very large males can grow to 4,400-pounds with exceptional large ones reaching 5,800-pounds. Full grown hippos can weight 5, 000 to 8, 000 lbs. Baby hippos can weigh nearly 100 pounds or 45 kilograms at birth. Home » animals » Fascinating facts about the hippo. 2) They are considered the second largest land animal on Earth (first place goes to the elephant! Here are some more amazing hippo facts for you: Surfacing and breathing are automatic for hippos. Among the more interesting hippo facts is that hippos don’t drown because they close their ears and nostrils while underwater. Although it is not common, bull hippos do attack and kill hippo calves. From a mosaic of stunning and diverse landscapes to a vibrant history & culture, learn interesting Cameroon facts, surprising history, & fun trivia here. They have been timed running between 19 and 25 mph (30 and 40 km/h). A clear membrane covers and protects their eyes while allowing them to see underwater. IUCN classified hippos as a weak state in 20 The population is declining; Most dramatically in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 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. 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. All Species (Likes, Plants, Meat?). 4 Places. A hippo calf will nurse its mother until it’s about 18 months old. A female hippopotamus is called a ‘cow’. 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. (Baby hippos need to breathe every 2 to 3 minutes.). Females have a gestation period of eight months and have only one baby at a time. At sunset, hippopotamuses leave the water and travel overland to graze. Hippos can live up to 120 years in the wild; up to 836 in captivity. So, you won't be able to outswim them! Here are some newborn hippopotamus facts: Most hippos only have one baby at a time. They grunt, grumble, bellow, roar, honk, humph, and wheeze loudly. Female hippos can have babies after they reach sexual maturity which is around five to six years of age. Hippos live in large groups, from 10 to 100 or even 200! Aside from mosquitos and the tsetse fly, hippopotamuses are the most deadly animal in Africa. Hippos are endangered mainly because poachers hunt them for their meat and the ivory in their teeth. A hippo will starve to death if its molars wear down too much to break down food. They have greyish to muddy-brown skin, which fades to a pale pink colour underneath. And I'm a co-founder of this site. Hippos are often killed because they pose such a dangerous threat to people competing for fresh water. The average Hippo has a head and body length of 3 to 4 feet and weighs close to 300 tons. They are also hunted and killed for their meat and ivory tusks and teeth which sell for big bucks on the black market. Hippos can even sleep underwater, using a reflex that allows them to bob up, take a breath, and sink back down without waking up. Hippos are almost completely hairless except for a few whiskers around their mouths and a tuft of hair on their tails. Hippos love eating watermelons. Most adult hippos can open their mouths at a 150-degree angle. At birth, the calf weighs between 50 and 110 lbs. It is believed that they rest for short periods of time. 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. Even though hippos live in the water with fish, they don’t eat fish. After it is weaned, it will continue to stay nearby its mother for up to seven or eight years until it is fully grown. Check out our guide to 100+ animal names in Swahili. 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. Or are they? They secrete an oily red substance that acts as a moisturiser, sunblock and protects them from germs. It is even tougher than elephants. Their lifespan can reach approximately 50 years. A clear membrane covers and protects their eyes while allowing them to see underwater. They have thick, mostly hairless skin. 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. 10. However, spotted hyenas, lions, and crocodiles are known to eat young hippos if they can steal them without getting mauled by the mother hippos. For some bull hippos, it’s 180 degrees. They rest on their mother’s backs when the water is too deep for them. Hippopotamuses are the 3rd largest land mammal, after elephants and rhinos. They are highly territorial and can attack anything that wanders into their territory, whether that be human or animal. Just behind elephants and white rhinos, hippos are among the world’s largest land mammals. For years this fluid was thought to be a mixture of blood and sweat, giving it the nickname “blood sweat.”. 11. Now all you need to do is plan a Ugandan safari to see these animals in person. When you use our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. But apart from those things, is there anything particularly interesting about these whopping African mammals? The hippo is also known for its thick, hairless hide, huge gaping mouth and ivory teeth. Hippos may look lazy and sluggish, but don’t be deceived. 5 Interesting Hippopotamus Facts. Here are a couple other hippopotamus facts about their teeth that you may find interesting: How's your Swahili? Their skin is harder than any other animal. There are two species of hippopotamus: the common hippo and the much smaller pygmy hippo. A rhino could stand a better chance of killing a hippo away from water because if a hippo can pull the rhino into its territory, it could be history for the rhino. 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. If you see a hippo yawning, you may think it’s cute, but in reality, a hippo yawn is a warning signal. For 18 months, the baby nurses while its mother is on land, or it swims underwater to suckle. No matter how small or large a group, all hippo herds are led by a single, dominant bull. They can only hold their breath for about 40 seconds at a time. Currently, the Africa countries of Zambia and Tanzania are home to the largest hippo populations. In fact, they have 36 teeth that include one canine, two incisors, three premolars, and three molars on each side of their jaws. The school will remain in the water and mud throughout the day to keep cool. Are hippos Africa's most dangerous animal? 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. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that rhinos and hippos are capable of killing each other. Their canine and incisor teeth grow continuously, with canines reaching 51 centimeters (20 inches) in length. 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. Just remember to keep a safe distance from them! They just want you to think that! They stay in the water with their mother for the first several days until they gain strength. The more you learn about these semi-aquatic beasts, the more you will discover several surprising hippopotamus facts. Want to know why? 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. It has a short, flattened tail tipped with a tuft of black hair. Plus tons of photos and videos. 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. On land, their heavyweight stirs up the soil and clears vegetation around the wetlands. 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. How long can a hippo hold it's breath underwater? Hippos, despite their size and shape, are fast. It is more likely that the popularity of their meat is the reason for this strategy. In addition to these hippo facts, did you know that George Washington (the first US president) wore false teeth made from hippopotamus ivory? 14. Male Hippos are larger than the females. There is an ongoing debate about who would win in a rhino-versus-hippo battle. Learn more about me. For its first eight months, the calf nurses while its mother is on land, or it swims underwater to suckle. Hippos vocalize on both land and in the water and are the only mammals that make amphibious calls. https://www.ugandasafariexperts.com/blog/39-interesting-facts-about-hippos They also have a membrane that closes over their eyes underwater. As we talking about semantics, a baby hippo is a calf, a male is a bull and a female a caw. 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. 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. Hippos are also known to make honking or grunting sounds whilst in water to mark their territory. What is the habitat of the common hippo? 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 weigh 1.5 to 4 tons. 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. A male hippopotamus is called a ‘bull’. After Pablo Escobar's death, the 4 Hippopotamuses he kept as pets have … Its weight sometimes reaches 4 tons. 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? To 4,500 kilograms ( 3,000 pounds ) when their calves are present, which fades to a of. Female usually mate every other year, due cost of parental investment into young... 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Amount of food per day facts about one of Africa ’ s lifespan is 40–50. Believe they eat up to 16 hours a day in it, their! Have only one baby at a time, hippos do attack and kill hippo calves can weigh 100! Hippos also use their big mouths to eat the whopping amount of elephants for such small... Threatens their calves be a male hippopotamus is a large semiaquatic mammal that is native to sub-Saharan Africa although is!

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