Fascinating facts about the hippo. In fact, studies suggest that Sri Lanka has the highest density of elephants in Asia.. Baby hippos nurse underwater by closing their nostrils and ears, but they also nurse on land as well. Your email address will not be published. Hippos can even sleep underwater, using a reflex that allows them to bob up, take a breath, and sink back down without waking up. 7 surprising facts about hippos that you probably didn’t know. Hippos, on occasion, do not mind eating a gaping antelope or even a crocodile. Several fish species in Africa can keep busy feeding on the food remnants and dead skin cells found on the hippo’s skin. If they are in deep water, they will resurface whenever they need to breathe without waking. Juvenile crocodiles sometimes fall victim to carnivores such as leopards, jaguars, otters, and pythons. They need to resurface every 3 to 5 minutes to breathe. They are born underwater but must paddle to the surface to take their first breath. Instead, mucous glands secrete a thick oily layer of red pigmented fluid. A hippo could kill a single lion in a one-on-one clash because its huge mouth and powerful bite can easily crush the lion’s head and bones. They are enormous creatures that can crush you in a heartbeat or drown you by overturning your boat. Hippos can’t swim or float! A hippopotamus has a barrel-shaped body, a big head with a long muzzle, short legs and a short tail. Although breeding can occur year round, it is most common between February and August. Their tusks are twice as long in males, an example of sexual dimorphism. They rest on their mother’s backs when the water is too deep for them. Hippos use these enlarged teeth for fighting. Females have a gestation period of eight months and have only one baby at a time. It appears that the males continue to grow all their lives, which accounts for their massive size. For some bull hippos, it’s 180 degrees. Their nostrils close to keep water out, and they can hold their breath for 5 minutes or longer. Hippos also exhibit some pretty gross methods of marking their territory such as urinating backward or spinning their tails while excreting dung to scatter it over a wide area. Their canine and incisor teeth grow continuously, with canines reaching 51 centimeters (20 inches) in length. They include herds, schools, pods, dales, and bloats. You'll learn about their size, habits, physical traits. Do hippos roar? One of the most interesting hippo facts is that this animal secretes a red, oily substance that many have described as “blood sweat.”. In theory, when the hipposudoric acid (red) mixes with the milk (white), it produces a pink solution. A male Hippo is called a Bull and female Hippo is called a cow. https://www.ugandasafariexperts.com/blog/39-interesting-facts-about-hippos Hippos aren't the world's largest land mammals—that honor belongs, by a hair, to the largest breeds of elephants and rhinoceroses—but they come pretty close. Why do male hippos attack baby hippos? They stay in the water with their mother for the first several days until they gain strength. 50 Surprising Facts about Sudan Take the road unknown to discover golden pyramids adorning a searing desert, gardens of coral in a premier dive spot, and many more surprising Sudan facts. In addition to these hippo facts, did you know that George Washington (the first US president) wore false teeth made from hippopotamus ivory? Female hippos can have babies after they reach sexual maturity which is around five to six years of age. Here are 17 Interesting Hippopotamus facts. Another reason is that hippo cows love big bull mouths. Entertaining, but be sure to keep your distance. They weigh 1.5 to 4 tons. Underwater, the hippos run along riverbeds, creating channels and redirecting water. Very large males can grow to 4,400-pounds with exceptional large ones reaching 5,800-pounds. Babies, which are born in the same conditions, are weighing around 50 kg and measure around 127 cm in length. Most people know that hippos are large, live in water, wallow in mud and eat a whole lot. They Are Not Big Eaters. I am not sure what hippo meat tastes like, but I have heard it tastes bland. A clear membrane covers and protects their eyes while allowing them to see underwater. A pack of lions may work together to bring an adult hippo down, but they would have to be really hungry to make such a dangerous attempt. Can you believe they eat up to 150 pounds (68 kg) a night? Is it legal? Their digestive systems are not suited for digesting meat. You'll see many Ugandan animals, including hippos, elephants, cape buffalo, marabou stork, and nile crocodiles. The typical lifespan for a hippo is between 35 and 50 years. Experts believe hippos that eat meat are nutrient-deficient, sick or distressed. In some languages, the name has been translated to “river horse”. Hippo males especially use their canines for fighting. Neither blood nor sweat, this secretion is a natural sunscreen that protects the hippo’s naked skin from the harsh African sun. At the same time, tusks do not apply to eating food. I have seen a hippo kill a large crocodile with a single bite, and a human would offer little to no resistance if a hippo was to become aggressive. Check out our guide to 100+ animal names in Swahili. Storyteller.travel shares the best travel insights, facts, and photos. For example, the hippo dung fertilizes water plants, and some fish directly eat the hippo dung while other fish eat insects that have previously fed off it. 1) Hippos are large semi-aquatic mammals, with a large barrel-shaped body, short legs, a short tail and an enormous head! They walk or stand on surfaces below the water like sandbanks. An adult hippo eats 50-60 kg of food per day. It is believed that they rest for short periods of time. Hippos have stiff whiskers above the upper lip and some fuzziness around their ears and on their tail. Hippos, despite their size and shape, are fast. Hippos are known for giving birth to a well-developed calf, and this is happening every couple of years. And we also cover pink hippo milk and poop sprinklers. Becuase of their humungous size, one would be forgiven for thinking hippos eat a lot, but this is actually not true. They are also hunted and killed for their meat and ivory tusks and teeth which sell for big bucks on the black market. 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