Hippopotamus: Definition, Physical Appearance, Habitat, Diet, Lifestyle, Family Life, Ecological Niche, Future [Explained]

Hippopotamus: Definition, Physical Appearance, Habitat, Diet, Lifestyle, Family Life, Ecological Niche, Future [Explained]

Hippopotamus Definition:

Hippopotamus: Definition, Physical Appearance, Habitat, Diet, Lifestyle, Family Life, Ecological Niche, Future [Explained]: – The hippopotamus is an enormous semi-aquatic vertebrate that is found for the most part in wallowing in the rivers and lakes. Regardless of its appearance, the hippopotamus is an animal that is really remembered to be most firmly related to the whales. Otherwise called the common hippopotamus, one of two hippo animal species is seen on the African continent, with the other being the solitary and forest-dwelling abiding pygmy hippopotamus, which is just found in western Africa and is presently critically endangered. There are just 3,000 pygmy hippos left in existence.

The hippopotamus has a gigantic head that makes up around 33% of its complete body weight, with its vast mouth having the option to open up to 150 degrees and revealing its enormous tusks, which can weigh as much as 6 pounds each. Albeit the normal hippopotamus stays abundant and far and wide animal all through its ongoing reach, numbers are reportedly declining because of both hunting and habitat loss.

Hippopotamus Physical Appearance:

Hippos are recognizable for their barrel-shaped torsos, wide-opening mouths with large canine tusks, almost hairless bodies, pillar-like legs, and large size. This permits these organs to remain above the surface while the remainder of the body is submerged. The hippo’s jaw is powered by colossal masseter and digastric muscles which give them large, saggy cheeks. The jaw hinge permits the hippo to open its mouth at practically 180°. The canines and incisors are utilized mostly for combat as opposed to feeding. Hippos depend on their flattened, horny lips to grasp and pull grasses which are then ground by the molars.

The animal is generally purplish-Grey or blue-dark, however, brownish-pink on the underside and around the eyes and earsly declining because of both hunting and habitat loss. Their skin secretes a natural, red-colored sunscreen substance that is sometimes alluded to as “blood sweat” yet is neither blood nor sweat. This secretion is at first colorless and later turns red-orange in minutes, in the end becoming brown. This natural sunscreen can’t prevent the animal’s skin from cracking assuming it stays out of water tool long.

Hippopotamus Habitat:

The hippopotamus is constantly tracked down near the water and will in general favor areas near grasslands, where they feed during the night. Hippos are most generally tracked down in the deep and slow-moving waterways and lakes in eastern and southern countries, with a couple of  smaller and isolated populaces actually found in the west. The hippopotamus is likewise a resident of the seasonal wetlands, where they swim through the swampy waters by day and touch on the small islands around evening time.

Hippopotamus Diet:

The hippopotamus is a herbivorous creature, which means that despite its enormously lengthy and sharp teeth, they are vegetarians. Various types of species of grasses are the main source of food for the hippopotamus that is found growing on plains generally near water. At the point when they come onto land around evening time, hippos may travel up to three miles during the night to get to their feeding grounds which they do by following ways that are set apart with fertilizer (dung).

Hippopotamus Lifestyle:

Common hippos are exceptionally social, and sedentary animals. They usually form a groups or gatherings of 20-100 hippos that are led by females, who occupy the core areas of their resting pools. Males of the group or gathering are responsible for safeguarding females and the younger ones. Thus, they remain on the external banks of these resting pools. In the daytime hours, they typically spent their time resting. At dusk, hippos emerge from their shelters to scavenge.

Hippopotamus Family Life:

The hippopotamus is social, living in groups or gatherings of 10 to 30hippos. They have even been seen in a lot bigger gatherings of up to 200hippos! The group has a few grown-up females and a few grown-up males, however, there is one dominant male. He has the right to mate with all grown-up females in his herd, despite the fact that he some of the time permits subordinate males in and around his territory to mate. The dominant male helps different hippos remember his territory by throwing his dung as far as possible with his fan-shaped tail!

Hippopotamus Ecological Niche:

Because of their immense size and way of living, these animals are vital to the ecosystem of their range. For instance, by entering the water and coming out, they generate habitats for smaller organisms as well as create routes, through which the water flows during the rainy or wet season. At the point when these paths are flooded or overflowed, lagoons and side pools emerge, where small fish later retreat with decreasing levels of water.

Hippopotamus Future:

The hippopotamus is quite possibly one of the largest mammals on the African continent. Although mature adults are a lot harder for predators or hunters to kill, they are as yet prayed on by various hunters all through the wetlands. Large felines, for example, lions and different animals like hyenas and crocodiles are the most common predators of the hippopotamus, especially of young or sick hippos. It is a direct result of this that females are thought to gather in herds, as larger numbers are more scary to hungry carnivores. The hippopotamus is likewise threatened by people, not just from the loss of their natural habitats but also from hunting.


As we discussed above, we learn that hippopotamuses are found in sub-Saharan Africa among rivers and lakes. With the steady growth of human settlements, human and hippo territories frequently cross over, and these encounters and experiences are on the ascent. projects for example, the building of dams or the diversion of water for farming frequently have disastrous impacts on natural streams and the hippos that rely upon them. Right now, the most promising way for safeguarding hippos is to keep on shielding large areas of land, as national parks offer the best measure of protection against poaching.

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