Hippopotamus a Fat Fast and Furious Wild Animal
Scientific Name: Hippopotamus amphibius
English name: Hippopotamus or commonly hippo
Link to Red List page: The Red List Page of hippo
Where to find
The hippopotamus is present in all Sub-Saharan Africa but unfortunately in very limited number. In South Africa is even no more present.
Like his scientific name suggests hippopotamus is an amphibian animal. So is areal is commonly in the rivers and lakes. He lives most of the time inside water while is coming out in the evening and sunrise time. He shares his habitat with humans but is a bad neighbor. His character is extremely territorial and aggressive so he doesn’t accept anyone in his personal space.
Hippopotamus dimensions are specials. The hight at the shoulder is around 1.5 meters. And the body length is between 3.3 and 4 meters. His dimensions are very variable and it depends on the environment where he lives. In places rich in food is possible to find very big specimens. The weight is generally between 1.5 to 3 tons but there are specimens up to 4 tons.
Most noteworthy is the length of the teeth that can be up to 60 cm. The hippopotamus can open the mouth to 150 degrees, so it is used by males to fighting and even to shows his intentions.
In the imaginary common the hippo is considered a nice fat animal and inspire your sympathy. I can confirm that is true even if you live very close to him. But if you live in his habitat and you are still alive is because you don’t trust in this sensation.
Hippo into the water can swim like a fish. Obviously, he uses a different way to swim, he uses the legs for the swim and he is very fast. Outside water, he is as fast as into the water and even much more. He can run even more than 30/35 miles/hours. The hippopotamus can stay underwater for 5 minutes and he spends 14 to 16 hours into the water.
Fat but not a big eater
He spends the whole day in the water where he rests waiting for evening. In the evening he gets out from rivers and lakes for grazing. He eats the grass around the rivers and he eats more or less the 1.5 percent of his weight. The hippopotamus is not a ruminant, and his stomach is particular. The food employs even 24 hours to transit. So he can eat less and extract more from the grass.
He can live up to 40 years but the average age is lower than this. The mortality in the first year after birth is around the 45 percent that will reduce the following years. The female gives birth to one calf and it will weight almost 50 kg.
We need to spend some words about the importance of the hippopotamus in the ecosystem. The hippo’s defecations contribute to give food to many other animals in the same habitat. Just in some cases, the overpopulation creates some problems in the ecosystem. When the population is regular the fishes and other animals can take advantage of his presence.
The hippo aggressivity and territoriality make him the more danger mammal in Africa exactly like the buffalo. Add even he lives very close the humans. Hew share the habitat with humans because he is amphibian and he lives into the water and in the areas near water. Even the human’s lives close the water and his activity especially in the rural areas includes using water from rivers and lakes. Given the danger of this animal, the humans prefer to kill hippos. Unfortunately, this catch by the humans, as usual, is unproportioned to the real danger. So now the Hippopotamus amphibian is in the red list page as vulnerable.