25 Jan 2013 The Hippopotamus
The hippopotamus is one of the many animals that can be viewed at Camp Jabulani while out on safari. The word ‘hippopotamus’ means ‘river horse’, and is often shortened to ‘hippo’. Hippos have numerous collective nouns, and a group of hippos is often referred to as a crash, bloat, herd, pod or dale. Here are some more facts on this incredible mammal:
•Hippopotamuses are found in Africa.
•The hippopotamus is generally considered the third largest land mammal (after the White rhinoceros and elephant).
• Hippopotamuses spend a large amount of time in water and are found in rivers, lakes and swamps.
• Resting in water helps keep the hippopotamuses temperature down.
• Hippopotamuses give birth in water.
• Hippopotamuses have short legs, a huge mouth and a body shaped like a barrel.
• The closest relatives of the hippopotamus are surprisingly cetaceans such as whales and dolphins.
• Scientists believe this family of animals diverged in evolution around 55 million years ago.
• Although hippos might look a little chubby, they can easily outrun a human.
• Hippos can be extremely aggressive, especially if they feel threatened.
• They are regarded as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa.
• Hippos are threatened by habitat loss and poachers who hunt them for their meat and teeth.
• A male hippopotamus is called a ‘bull’.
• A female hippopotamus is called a ‘cow’.
• A baby hippo is called a ‘calf’.
• Hippos typically live for around 45 years.
• Hippos are herbivores and eat mostly grass.