If you’re a hippo fan you may be interested to know a few fun facts about hippopotamus. They are a favorite of many zoo goers and because of this a much loved animal. This creates a lot of conversation and some untruths. There are many myths about this large creature and a little study about hippopotamus facts can help to put him in perspective.
1. Where The Hippo Lives
The hippo’s natural habitat is that of Africa. There are two different species living on this continent. Hippopotamus facts often don’t bring up the pygmy hippo who calls small areas in West Africa home. These are solitary forest dwellers and have become quite rare. The large hippo lives in East Africa south of the Sahara. Unlike their smaller cousin, it’s a Hippopotamus fact that these guys are so numerous that they chow down their environment so they have to have their population controlled. An interesting hippopotamus fact is that they use to live as far north as Egypt but have since been driven away.
2. Facts About Hippopotamus And Where They Came From
Though it’s not a fact about hippopotamus many people believe they are very closely related to elephants or Rhinos, the only two land species that are actually larger than this one. While a hippo’s size may be similar to these mammoths, it’s a hippopotamus fact that their DNA is more closely related to that of dolphins and whales. It seems the earliest fossils for these guys date back about 16 million years.
3. Facts About Hippopotamus Reproduction
Reading anything on hippopotamus facts should include that the males are called bulls and the females are called cows. Baby hippos are called calves. It’s a fact about hippopotamus that the females are pregnant for 240 days. As with most of their activities, they mate in water.
Facts about hippopotamus calves: they are born in shallow water or on land. Mothers keep them protected from lions, crocs and males of the species. They don’t need protection from their fathers on land just in water. They don’t start eating grass until they are about three weeks old.
4. Hippopotamus Facts About Diet
Most people asking questions about hippopotamus facts find they want to know how much they eat. In a typical night a hippo will need to consume 45 kg per night. They spend most of their day in the water and then come onto land at night to feed. Their diet is made up mainly of grass and vegetation. They also drink close to fifty six gallons in a twenty four hour period.
5. Hippos May Be Cute But Not Cuddly
Another interesting fact about hippopotamus is that they are some of the most dangerous animals in the world. Hippos single handedly slay more people in Africa than any other creature. Their teeth are very sharp, long and thick. With these big chompers they have been known to take chunks out of boats.
6. A Few Odd Facts About Hippopotamus
A fun fact about hippopotamus has to do with the origin of the name. Hippo has Greek origins in a word that means ‘river horse.’ Another hippopotamus fact is that in ancient times in Egypt this animal was a symbol for fertility with women.
A little known hippopotamus fact is that they are actually quite aggressive. Most have scars and marks all over them from fights. When they yawn they actually aren’t tired, but instead are threatening other animals around them. These animals need to break the water surface every three to five minutes for air.
7. Facts About Hippopotamus Life
Most people who enjoy reading about hippopotamus facts will be curious as to how long this giant creature can expect to live. Most of these large guys live about fifty years. The large hippos are more social and tend to live in groups whereas the pygmies are quite solitary.
It is a large hippopotamus fact that they often weigh in at about three and a half tons are thirteen feet long and five feet tall. Their size can be deceptive because it’s quite possible for hippos to move at speeds of up to thirty miles an hour.
8. Facts About Hippopotamus That Are In Captivity
It’s always neat when reading facts about hippopotamus to find out what’s happening with them in zoos. The longest lived hippo is in a zoo and sixty years old. A very little known hippopotamus fact is that Pablo Escobar bought four to keep at his private residence in Columbia and since his fall they have been left untended. There are now sixteen of them and it is expected that they will continue to reproduce and be able to live in the area. Columbia may suffer problems from these animals in the form of human fatalities.
9. Facts About Hippopotamus Predators
One little known fact about hippopotamus is that they appear to be relatively disease free. Because of this some of their populations grow at such a rate that ‘cropping’ has been implemented to keep them from destroying habitats too quickly. Hippos do find danger in the forms of river dwelling crocs and occasionally the aggressive pack of lions.
It is a fairly common fact about hippopotamus that humans are their greatest predators as with many large animals. Habitat destruction is among the leading problem. But in addition to that they are hunted for their meat, their hides and hippo teeth
10. Hippopotamus Facts That Include Their World Status
If you’re looking at hippopotamus facts in regards to their endangered status then you must consider the large hippo and the pygmy separately. The bigger species is listed as vulnerable which means they’re threatened because their natural habitat is being destroyed. The pygmy species is listed as Critically Endangered and upon further reading it is evident that they are threatened with extinction in the immediate future. With this knowledge and these facts about hippopotamus it’s hoped that people become more aware in what they can do to help endangered animals.