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Favorite Images of Hippos
Animals list created by kathy
A list of my favorite images of hippos.
The common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) or hippo is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae, the other being the pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis).
The name comes from the ancient Greek for "river horse".
After the elephant and rhinoceros, the common hippopotamus is the third-largest type of land mammal and the heaviest extant artiodactyl.
Despite their physical resemblance to pigs and other terrestrial even-toed ungulates, their closest living relatives are cetaceans (whales, porpoises, etc.) from which they diverged about 55 million years ago.
The common ancestor of whales and hippos split from other even-toed ungulates around 60 million years ago. The earliest known hippopotamus fossils, belonging to the genus Kenyapotamus in Africa, date to around 16 million years ago.
Common hippos are recognizable by their barrel-shaped torsos, wide-opening mouths revealing large canine tusks, nearly hairless bodies, columnar-like legs and large size.
They are the third-largest type of land mammal by weight (between 1½ and 3 tonnes): the only heavier species on average are the white and Indian rhinoceroses, and the elephants.
The hippopotamus is one of the largest quadrupeds and, despite its stocky shape and short legs, it can easily outrun a human. Hippos have been recorded as running at 30 km/h (19 mph) over short distances.
The hippopotamus is a highly aggressive and unpredictable animal and is ranked among the most dangerous animals in Africa. Nevertheless, they are still threatened by habitat loss and poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth.
The common hippopotamus is semiaquatic, inhabiting rivers, lakes and mangrove swamps, where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river and groups of five to 30 females and young.
During the day, they remain cool by staying in the water or mud; reproduction and childbirth both occur in water. They emerge at dusk to graze on grasses. While hippopotamuses rest near each other in the water, grazing is a solitary activity and hippos are not territorial on land.
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