Hippopotamuses are the third largest land mammal and can be found in Africa. Its scientific name is ‘Hippopotamus Amphibius’ which means ‘River Horse’. It can reach up to 5 feet in height, 12 feet in length and can weigh up to 3-4 tons. There are two types of hippopotamus, the pigmy hippo and the common hippo. They are plant eaters.
Fast Facts: –
- Their main diet is grass. On an average, a hippo can consume around 150 pounds of grass every day.
- They do not have sweat gland. This is the reason they spend most of their time in water to cool off.
- A female hippo gives birth to her baby underwater. They have a gestation period of 8 months.
- They can be aggressive sometimes. That is why they are considered dangerous animals in Africa.
- Hippopotamuses are most active at night when they search for food.
- A hippopotamus can hold its breath for more than 5 minutes. They have excellent swimming skills.
- They have an average lifespan of around 45 years.
- Hippos generally stay in groups which are led by one large male. These groups are called ‘herd’ and can contain 20-30 members.
- A male hippo is called ‘bull’ and a female hippo is called ‘cow’.
- At times, a red substance oozes out of their body which works as sun protection for their skin and it also prevents cuts and scratches on their body from getting infected. It is called ‘blood-sweat’.
- Female hippos give birth to one baby in every 2 years.