Introduction to Hippopotamuses
The Hippo, short for Hippopotamus, is a very unique looking creature. The name of these animals comes from the
Greek language and means River Horse. They were very impressed about the size of these creatures as well as their
ability to live in murky waters.
It is very large and often stays to itself. The males are larger than the females. Size often depends on location too. They can range from 1 ½ tons to 3 tons though so they are extremely heavy regardless of which end they fall into.
However, it can also be extremely aggressive so you want to keep your distance. Other names already know that this is a risky animal to irritate. Humans need to be well aware of that fact, especially when they are in the wild where these animals live. The live in groups that can have as many as thirty members in it.
What is very interesting is that in the water Hippos are extremely territorial with each other. They will go to great lengths in order to defect their location. However, they go to the land at night to hunt for food. Once on land they don’t have any issues about how roams where. There is no conflict about the land belonging to any of them.
Today there are only two species of Hippos left in the world. They are the Common Hippo and the Pygmy Hippo. Almost all of them that live in the wild are found in Africa. Due to the rare nature of these animals and the attraction humans have for them, they are often a prime attraction at zoos around the world. There they may seem simple and quiet but don’t underestimate them.
They do need lots of space as they are the second largest land animal in the world. Only the elephant ranks above them. When these animals are placed in a zoo setting they need to have water to swim in as well as land to walk around on. It can be very expensive to house them.
They are classified as being semi-aquatic animals due to spending so much time in the water. In their natural habitat, the water helps to cool them from the heat of the dessert. It also helps them to conserve energy. They use a great deal of it when they are moving around on land. That is part of why they feed so heavily when they are on land.
You may not realize it but the Hippo is easily considered to be the most aggressive animal in the world. Since they are the third largest mammal in the world (only elephants and whales are larger) you can imagine why they are so feared. They have the strength and they also have the temperament which tells us that we should leave them alone.
Under the right conditions, a Hippo can live in the wild for 45 to 50 years. Their natural environment though is at risk due to them being killed for sport, for meat, and for the ivory of their teeth. They also find their natural habitat being taken away for other things to live and grow in that area. The Hippo has a hearty appetite so they need to find about 150 pounds of grass to eat every single night. When that environment is taken from them they will fight among each other and many will starve.