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“HIPPOPOTAMUS”
General classification :
Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious) or in ancient Greek is “River Horse” is
the terrestrial mammal in Sub-Sahara Africa especially along East and West Africa.
Hippopotamus is one of only two extant species in the family of Hippopotamidae. The other
species is Pigmy Hippopotamus. The differences of Hippopotamus Amphibious and Pigmy
Hippopotamus is the size. Hippopotamus Amphibious is bigger than Pigmy Hippopotamus
and become the third-largest of terrestrial mammal after the elephant and rhinoceros.
Description :
Common hippos are recognizable by their barrel-shaped body, wide-opening mouths
revealing large canine tusks, hairless body, columnar-like legs and large size. Adult hippos
average 1.500-3.000 Kg and make them the heaviest extant artiodactyl. Despite its stocky
shape and short legs, it is able to run until 30 KM/ hour over short distances. Hippos has big
teeth and big tongue in wide-opening mouths that it is the self-defense weapon.
The Hippopotamus is a highly aggressive and unpredictable animal, they have ranked
among the most dangerous animals in Africa. they have ivory canine teeth that help them to
defense their territorial. Furthermore, hippos often attacks when they are disturbed by another
animals and sometimes, Hippos are fighting for their food and territorial with another hippos.
The wide-opening mouths with ivory canine teeth is the deadly weapon when they are
fighting.
The common hippopotamus is semiaquatic, inhabiting in river, mangrove swamp, and
lakes. Hippos spends almost their time in the water or mud for keeping their wetness.
Although hippos are able to release a red slime liquid to protect them from the sun. If they are
not in water, they will dehydrate. Where territorial hippos preside over a stretch of river and
groups of five to thirty females and young.
During the night, they emerge at dusk to graze on grassland. Hippos eats more than 60
Kg of grass each night. Sometimes, hippos preys like a carnivorous such as crocodiles, deer,
etc. They tend to choose areas that have diet enough despite it’s far away from their home.
Hippos will breach grassland and forest to satisfy their appetite. Furthermore, they are still
threatened by habitat loss and poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth.

Inez Fahira R
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