Amazing animal facts about the Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus

The hippopotamus is the second largest land mammal weighing in at around 4144 pounds (1880kg) and a shoulder height of around 4-5 ft. The scary fact is this animal can outrun a human for about 100m.

 The Hippopotamus is an amphibious mammal that spends most of the daytime in water and the night time grazing along river banks. A hippo's* head is adapted for a semi-aquatic life - the ears, eyes and nose are placed on top of the head and protrude out the water while the rest of the body is submerged. The ears and nose close automatically when submerged.

The bottom incisor teeth can grow as long as 15 inches (38 cm).

The hippo * is a grazer and can eat up to 90 pounds (40 kg) of grass a night. It literally mows the grass with its 2ft wide lips.

Before modern science, hippos were thought to 'sweat blood'. This is neither sweat nor blood but a natural 'sun screen' secretion that looks like a red oily substance. This oily secretion also has anti bacterial properties. A hippo's* skin is 2 inches (4-5cm) thick and accounts for 25% of its body mass (1/2 ton).

* Hippo is the short English name for Hippopoyamu

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