Hippo

La Terre des Origines

Hippo

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Despite weighing between 3 - 5 tonnes they can run at speeds of up to 30 km/h! We are so used to seeing these animals (from the Greek Hippos Potamos, horse from the water) in water with only their eyes, noses and ears sticking out from the water that it may require a good imagination to believe that they can run so fast on land.

To incite fear they attack with their 60 cm long incisors, which are certainly capable of killing! They have their peculiar teeth, which they use to harvest up to 50 kg of plants and water plants per day. The hippopotamus, along with the elephant and the rhinoceros, are on record as the largest mammals on land. They can grow up to 5 m long, 3.5 m on average, but they only measures 1.5 m in height. A herd consists of about 20 adults and they spend the vast majority of their 40 - 50 years together under water. Their skin does not have any sweat glands to help with heat regulation, so to avoid an increase in body temperature and sunburn they spend most of their time immersed in water. When they are out on dry land they secrete a red, natural sunscreen, which was in the past mistakenly thought to be blood from an injury.

These river residents are found in Uganda, Sudan, North Congo, West Gambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa and they are extremely territorial. All males defend their stretch of the river very violently to protect their harems. Tourists and farmers must constantly be on their guard. Despite their size these animals are remarkably graceful in the water as they use their hind legs to move around in the water. They sleep underwater while they breathe once every 3 to 5 minutes. When they give birth the entire process happens underwater

Hippo in image

Hippos underwater

Unique in Belgium: the hippos underwater!

This world's activities

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The African stilt Village

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Hippo

Hippo

The Hippopotamus: everything but the good natured animal it appears to be More info

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The White rhino

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The red river hog

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The greater kudu

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