Speaking of hippos, their big mouths are characteristic.
They can eat vegetables whole with their big mouths.
I have an image of them swimming in the water with half of their faces out.
They have a calm and gentle atmosphere, but they actually have a violent side.
Let’s go explore the secrets of hippos that we don’t know yet!



~ Basic information. ~


Hippopotamus length:3.5~4m weight:1400~3000㎏.
Pygmy hippopotamus length:1.5~1.7m weight:160~270㎏.

Hippos live in the eastern and southern parts of Africa.
They inhabit water bodies such as lakes, rivers, and swamps.

Hippos are herbivores and mainly eat grass such as rice.
When the amount of plants decreases, they sometimes walk long distances in search of food.


Basically, hippos live in water during daylight hours.
In areas with strong ultraviolet rays such as Africa, the skin of hippos dries out too much and cracks occur.
Therefore, they start their activities at night.

Hippos can also dive into the water, but they can only hold their breath for about 1-5 minutes.
They live near water but have very short diving times.
The reason why you often see them with only their heads above the water may be because they can’t dive for long.

Hippos are social animals and usually form groups of 20-30 individuals, but sometimes they form groups of up to 100 individuals.
The group is composed of a male leader, females, and their offspring.

Males sometimes fight for the position of leader.
They fight by opening their big mouths and pushing each other.
A hippo’s mouth can open up to 150 degrees.

Hippos also have large teeth, so they can get injured.
That’s why there are many scars on the bodies of male hippos.

If one of the hippos surrenders, the matter is settled.
If the leader loses, the winning hippo will become the new leader.


Polygamous hippos mate with multiple females for one male.
They mate in the water during the dry season from around February to August and spend about 8 months of pregnancy.
They give birth to 1-2 offspring in the water during the rainy season from around October to April.

Baby hippos are breastfed in water for the first five months of life.
The child lives with the mother until the child reaches the age of seven.
It’s a long time to be able to stay with your mother for 7 years until you’re on your own.

Female hippos mature at 6 years old and males mature at 7 years old.
When male children mature, they are expelled from the herd by the leading male.




Hippopotamus’s Q&A.

How strong is the bite force of a hippopotamus?

Hippos are characterized by their large mouths, but how strong are their bites?
To make it easier to understand the strength, let’s compare it with the bite force of a human being.

The human bite force is about 1.1 million Pa.
The bite force of a hippo is about 12.41 million Pa.
This force is 11.3 times that of a human.

Since hippos have multiple teeth, they can penetrate when bitten.
It is understandable that males get injured during leader fights.


How much food do hippos need?

Wild hippos live by eating about 40-50 kg of grass per day.
They eat less than their body size.
One reason for this is that they can only move around at night.

Hippos in zoos eat nutritious foods such as carrots and cabbage.
If they lack minerals, they may also eat small fish or meat.
They can eat not only vegetables but also fish.


How fast are hippos when running on land?

Hippos have a large and round body that makes people think they move slowly.
However, they can run fast despite their appearance.

Hippos can run at a speed of about 30-40 km/h, but some individuals can run at a speed of 50 km/h.
Hippos have a surprisingly high territorial awareness, so they will threaten or attack if they recognize someone as an enemy.
It is highly likely that they will catch up with humans even if they run away.


Why is hippopotamus sweat red?

Although the skin of a hippo is quite thick, it loses moisture on land at a rate three to four times faster than humans and cracks.
Therefore, when the skin of a hippo dries out, it secretes a liquid that looks like red to protect it.

To explain a little more, the red liquid of a hippo contains two pigments.
The first pigment is red and has an antibacterial effect.
The second pigment is orange and absorbs ultraviolet rays. With these two colors, hippos protect their bodies from bacteria and sunburn.


Is it true that hippos sometimes eat meat?

When hippos don’t have enough plants to eat, they sometimes eat meat.
As a body structure, hippos are not suitable for digesting meat, but when they are short of food, they cannot afford to say such things.

There are two cases where this has actually been witnessed.
The first is when other hippos eat the body of a dead hippo.

The first is when other hippos eat the body of a dead hippo.
The second is when multiple hippos attack and eat a baby hippo.

Hippos were thought to attack as a group when their companions were attacked, so it is surprising that they cannibalize each other.
However, it is common for male hippos to attack and kill baby hippos.
Why do they do such a thing?

The reason is that when the leader male changes, he kills the baby hippo so that he can mate with the female hippo.
If there is a baby, the female hippo will not go into heat, so killing the baby makes her go into heat.
It is an instinctive behavior to leave one’s genes behind.


Do hippos have natural enemies?

Hippos have few enemies.
Crocodiles are likely enemies of hippos, which spend most of their time in the water.

The crocodile’s bite force is said to be the strongest of all animals.
However, even such a crocodile is no match for a hippopotamus.

Hippos live in groups, so if a crocodile tries to attack them, there is a high chance that they will attack them in a group.
Although it is inferior to crocodiles, hippos have a strong bite force, so if several hippos bite you, you will be seriously injured or even die.
Crocodiles understand this, so they rarely attack.

Although they are not natural enemies, hippos have animals that are no match for them.
It is “elephant”.
Elephants also move in herds and are no match for their size.
When taking a dust bath, elephants and elephants sometimes come into contact with each other, but hippos never win.

How ferocious is a hippopotamus?

Hippos may look calm, but they are actually very violent creatures.
They are known as the most dangerous animal in Africa.

Between lions and hippos, which live in the same Africa, which do you think attacks more human victims?
I think many people believe it is lions, but in fact hippos attack humans overwhelmingly.
To be specific, more than 500 people are victimized by hippos every year.

Hippos have a strong territorial awareness and attack mercilessly those who enter their territory.
They are very aggressive and attack boats with people on them, destroy villages and attack people they encounter.


In addition, many people may not know that hippos are violent, which may be related to the cause of accidents.
To introduce an actual accident, there was an incident where a tourist was attacked when he approached a wild hippo to take a picture with it.

People who live near hippos in Africa understand the danger of hippos.
However, it is difficult for people like us who have only seen docile hippos in zoos to understand their danger.
We must be careful not to be deceived by appearances.



Type of hippopotamus.

・Pygmy hippopotamus.


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