The term hippopotamus has been derived from an ancient Greek word that means river horse. It is considered as the third largest land mammal. A male hippopotamus is known as ‘bull’, a female is known as ‘cow’ and baby is known as ‘calf’. Their scientific name is Hippopotamus Amphibious. They spend most of their time in the water and are excellent swimmers. They are found in Africa. If they feel threatened then they can be extremely aggressive. These herbivorous creatures eat mostly grass, fallen fruit, sugar cane etc. They have short legs, huge mouth, and a barrel-shaped body.
Fast Facts: –
- They live in areas with rivers and lakes because they can only survive in areas with abundant water.
- Hippos generally bask on the shoreline and secrete a red fluid. It is a skin moistener and sun block.
- This red fluid is generally mistaken as blood by most of the people but it is not.
- They are very social creatures and their groups are known as ‘herd’, ‘pod’, ‘dale’ or ‘bloat’.
- Female hippos have a gestation period eight months and can give birth to one hippo at once.
- Their mating season takes place in the dry season from October to March.
- Average life span of a hippopotamus is 40-45 years.
- Hippos are the second heaviest mammal in the world.
- They use various vocalizations to communicate with each other.
- They are extremely territorial in water. This is the reason why the attack boats most.
- Whales and porpoises are the closest living relatives of the hippopotamus.
- They have good eyesight, hearing, and sense of smell.
- Hippos have tusk-like teeth. Their teeth keep growing continuously.