Sometimes, the subfamily Hippopotaminae is used. [1] Proper habitat requires enough water to submerge in and grass nearby. [88], Mating occurs in the water, with the female submerged for most of the encounter,[8]:63 her head emerging periodically to draw breath. Hippopotamidae are believed to have evolved in Africa; the oldest known hippopotamid is the genus Kenyapotamus, which lived in Africa from 16 to 8 million years ago. They grow to between 10.8 and 16.5 feet (3.3 to 5 meters) long and up to 5.2 feet (1.6 m) tall at the shoulder. They also use snorts, grumbles, “wheeze-honking,” and other ground-shaking—and sometimes subsonic—vocalizations to communicate to other hippos. [13][16], The most recent theory of the origins of Hippopotamidae suggests that hippos and whales shared a common semiaquatic ancestor that branched off from other artiodactyls around 60 million years ago. [75] As with fish and turtles on a coral reef, hippos occasionally visit cleaning stations and signal, by opening their mouths wide, their readiness for being cleaned of parasites by certain species of fishes. A group of hippos is sometimes called a bloat, pod, or siege. This page was last edited on 6 December 2020, at 19:20. Once common to all of Africa, hippos are now abundant only in East Africa. Right now, the most promising way to protect hippos is to continue to safeguard large areas of land, as national parks offer the greatest amount of protection against poaching. https://www.ugandasafariexperts.com/blog/39-interesting-facts-about-hippos Male hippos may be found in very small numbers in rapid waters in rocky gorges. On February 8, 2020, Funani gave birth to a daughter—her 13th calf, and her 9th born at the San Diego Zoo. She came to San Diego from the Knoxville Zoo in 1995, where she was known as a problem hippo. The Greek historian Herodotus described the hippo in The Histories (written circa 440 BC) and the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder wrote about the hippo in his encyclopedia Naturalis Historia (written circa 77 AD). [90], The hippo was also known to the Greeks and Romans. The herd has several adult females and several adult males, but there is one dominant male. A study examining mitochondrial DNA from skin biopsies taken from 13 sampling locations, considered genetic diversity and structure among hippo populations across the continent. By comparison, the largest cattle eat 2.5 percent of their body weight each day. There are two species of hippopotamus: the river, or common, hippo and the much smaller pygmy hippo. Gift memberships purchased during our temporary closure due to regional stay-at-home orders will automatically be extended to accommodate the length of time we are closed. The Javan, Sumatran and Black rhinoceros are critically endangered; the Indian one-horned rhinoceros is endangered; the white rhinoceros is vulnerable and lives in Africa.There is only one species of Hippopotamus in existence: the Hippopotamus amphibius in the family Hippopotamidae. Hippos are very rotund animals and are the third largest living land mammals, after elephants and white rhinos, according to Animal Planet. Hippos have stiff whiskers above the upper lip and some fuzziness around their ears and on their tail. [98] The first zoo hippo in modern history was Obaysch, who arrived at the London Zoo on 25 May 1850, where he attracted up to 10,000 visitors a day and inspired a popular song, the "Hippopotamus Polka". [8]:82–83, Hippos appear to communicate vocally, through grunts and bellows, and they may practice echolocation, but the purpose of these vocalisations is currently unknown. [65][66] Former President Theodore Roosevelt backed the plan, as did the U.S. Department of Agriculture, The Washington Post, and The New York Times which praised the taste of hippo as "like cow bacon". [40], A hippo's lifespan is typically 40–50 years. Basically, Hollywood dinosaurs just look like fossils with skin draped over it. Trending. A group of hippos is sometimes called a bloat, pod, or siege. It is the second heaviest land animal after the elephant. When two hippos do decide to fight, they slash out with their tusks or swing their enormous heads like sledgehammers while bellowing loudly. Hippos also have a set of built-in goggles: a clear membrane covers their eyes for protection while still allowing them to see when underwater. The pygmy hippo has adaptations for spending time in the water but is much less aquatic than the hippo. Their canine and incisor teeth grow continuously, with canines reaching 20 inches (51 centimeters) in length. Hippopotamus literally means river horse. [58] As of 2020, there were no plans by the local government on managing the population, but further studies on their effect on the habitat have been initiated. They are threatened by habitat loss and poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth. [51][52] Reasons for poaching include the belief that hippos are harmful to society, as well as financial gain. That facility became a reality when a new hippo habitat opened at the Zoo in 1995. Several species of Malagasy hippopotamus (also known as Malagasy dwarf hippopotamus, Malagasy pygmy hippopotamus or Madagascan instead of Malagasy) lived on the island of Madagascar but are now believed to be extinct. (1,400 kilograms), while males weigh 3,500 to 9,920 lbs. [36] Hippo teeth sharpen themselves as they grind together. [22][21], Hippos are among the largest living land mammals, being only smaller than elephants and some rhinoceroses. The hippos are so content, they even appear to be reaching sexual maturity — and breeding — at a younger age, thereby producing still more … He was wild born in East Africa in 1976 and brought to the San Diego Zoo from the Los Angeles Zoo in January 2009, specifically to breed with Funani. She lived at the Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana in the US[41][42] until her death in 2012 at the age of 61. These deposits have an unclear ecological function. Despite their rodent-like appearance, however, hyraxes are actually more related to elephants! [68] A 2015 study concluded that hippo dung provides nutrients from terrestrial material for fish and aquatic invertebrates,[71] while a 2018 study found that their dung can be toxic to aquatic life in large quantities, due to absorption of dissolved oxygen in water bodies. [23][24][25] Mean adult weight is around 1,500 kg (3,310 lb) and 1,300 kg (2,870 lb) for males and females respectively,[26][27] very large males can reach 2,000 kg (4,410 lb) and exceptional males weighing 2,660 kg (5,860 lb),[26] 3,200 kg (7,050 lb)[28] and 4,500 kg (9,920 lb) (in captivity)[29] have been reported. [32] Hippopotamuses have small legs (relative to other megafauna) because the water in which they live reduces the weight burden. Weight at birth: 50 to 110 pounds (25 to 45 kilograms), Age of maturity: Females, 5 to 6 years; males, 7 years average, Length: 10.8 to 16.5 feet (3.3 to 5 meters), Height: Up to 5.2 feet (1.6 meters) tall at shoulder, Weight: Females, 3,000 pounds (1,400 kilograms) average; males, 3,500 to 9,920 pounds (1,600 to 4,500 kilograms). [34]:264 Hippos mostly live in freshwater habitats, however populations in West Africa mostly inhabit estuarine waters and may even be found at sea. 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