7 Hippos Facts That Might Surprise You

Articles Jul 03, 2019 06:02

Animal world is fascinating with different species. Hippopotamus is no exception. These massive creatures are one of the most dangerous across the river of Africa. If you knew so little about them then this post is for you. Here are 7 facts about Hippos that will shock you.

1. How do hippos claim their territory?

When defecating, hippos swish their tails back and forth, scattering their droppings like a muck-spreader. The resulting slapping noise echoes downstream and helps proclaim territory.

2. Ancient hippos in Britain

Hippos, along with other megafauna such as lions and elephants, would have been a common sight in prehistoric Britain – their remains have been found underneath Trafalgar Square.

3. How much food do hippos eat?

Male hippos weigh 1,600–3,200kg, and females 650–2,350kg. Despite their size they eat just 1–1.5 per cent of their body weight every day.

7 Hippos Facts That Might Surprise You
Hippopotamus in Chobe National Park, Botswana. © Lost Horizon Images/Getty

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4. Can hippos swim?

Hippos sink in water. They run along the river bottom instead of swimming.

5. Are hippos at risk from poaching?

The international ban on trade in elephant ivory led to an increase of 530 per cent in the annual export of hippo teeth within two years. The animal’s canines measure upwards of 50cm in length.

7 Hippos Facts That Might Surprise You
Hippos have huge teeth! © nattanan726/Getty

6. Do hippos have more than one stomach like cows?

A hippo’s stomach has four chambers in which enzymes break down the tough cellulose in the grass that it eats. However, hippos do not chew the cud, so are not true ruminants like antelopes and cattle.

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7. Can hippos be tamed?

A wild hippo named ‘Jessica’ often visits (and wanders into) the waterside home of South Africa’s Tonie and Shirley Joubert, who helped her out as a calf. But this is very much the exception rather than the rule – hippos are one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet.

7 Hippos Facts That Might Surprise You
Hippo in Chobe National Park, Botswana. © Winfried Wisniewski/Getty

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Source: https://www.discoverwildlife.com/animal-facts/mammals/facts-about-hippos/

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