The Common Hippopotamus is the 3rd Larges Animal after Elephants and Rhinos.
Some amazing facts and information for kids about the lives of the Hippo in Africa
• There are 2 species of hippo. The large or common hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius) is found in East Africa, south of the Sahara. The pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) comes from West Africa, and is very rare.
• The common hippo can be 13 feet long and 5 feet tall, and weigh up to 3 ½ tons (7000 pounds). The pygmy only weighs 440 to 600 pounds and is 4.9 to 5.7 feet long.
The Hippopotamus has No Sweat Glands
• Hippos keep cool in the water or in mud. But they do secrete a red fluid that helps them avoid sunburn. While most of its body is underwater, a hippo can hear, see, and breathe, since its eyes, ears, and nostrils are on the top of its head and nose. When completely underwater, its nose and ears close automatically.
• Hippos live in herds of 10 to 30.
• If challenged, a male hippopotamus will fight using its long canine tusks.
• These teeth can grow a foot long.
• Calves weigh 55 to 120 pounds.
• Sometimes calves will rest on their mother’s back.
• Mother hippos protect them from lions, leopards, crocodiles and male hippos.
• Hippos mature at an average age of 7 (males) to 9 (females) years and live to be about 45 years.
• Hippos have good eye sight, sense of smell, and hearing.
• The name hippopotamus comes from 2 Greek words that mean river horse. These animals are aggressive and not afraid of people.
Hippopotamus Facts – Did You Know?
– A common hippo’s hide alone can weigh half a ton!
– Male hippos will attack young hippos in the water, but not on land.
– An adult hippopotamus can stay submerged for 5 to 6 minutes.
– A baby hippo can eat grass in 3 weeks, but nurses for a year.
– A hippopotamus can eat 100 to 150 pounds of grass in a night.
– A hippo’s tail is up to 22 inches long.
– A Hippo does not care who is looking or listening to him
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