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Description of Hippo

´╗┐The name hippo means "river horse", and these mammals spend most of their time in the water. They have inflated-looking bodies that resemble barrels, supported on short, pillarlike legs with four toes ending in hooflike nails. The tail is short and bristled, with flattened sides. The belly is carried only a few inches above the ground. The eyes are raised on top of a flat head, the ears are small, and the nostrils are slits high up on the muzzle and can be closed when the animal is submerged. The two species, H. amphibius and C. liberiensis (pygmy hippo) differ greatly in size, with the former up to 5.5 feet high and weighing seven thousand to ten thousand pounds. The pygmy hippo is much smaller, with an average height of 2.5 to 3 feet, and weighing 350 to 600 pounds.

Hippo Life

Hippoes must submerge frequently because their naked skin is vulnerable to overheating and dehydration. They can stay submerged up to thirty minutes. Their skin has a brown to gray-purple coloration with pinkish creases. The pygmyhippo is black-brownto purple in color with the cheeks often tinted pink. Unlike the pygmy hippo, which is a solitary mammal dwelling in rivers and forests, H. amphibius is a huge animal that can be found in herds of up to eighty members. Seeking food, H. amphibius travels at night from the rivers for grazing, but will return before dawn to spend the day digesting and socializing in the riverbeds. During the forays fromthe water, the animals typically travel two to three miles. H. amphibius eats up to ninety pounds of grass on a nightly basis, often mowing twenty-inch-wide swaths with its muscular lips and mouth. The pygmy hippo prefers to seek food on high, dry ground and is most active between 6 p.m. and midnight. They have home ranges that may cover between one hundred and four hundred acres. Most movements are along established paths in theirhomerange, and rarely do they cross paths with others of their own species. During these forays, they seek water plants, grasses, fallen fruits and leaves. For H. amphibius, their watery homelands are partitioned into individual mating territories by mature bulls that defend defined sections. These territories can remain fixed for years. Dung showering is used to mark territories and express dominance. Other behaviors that signal threats can include water scooping, head shaking, grunting, roaring, explosive exhaling, and charging. Submission is signaled by turning tail, approaching in a crouched position, lying prone on the land, or diving and swimming away from the dominant male.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Hippo