Hippopotamus

Scientific name :
Hippopotamus amphibius
Class :
Mammals
Order :
Artiodactyla
Family :
Hippopotamidae

The hippopotamus spends most of its time in water, as its skin loses moisture too easily in the dry air. It emerges from the water at nightfall to feed on the grassy plains and along the river banks, and eats around 40 kg of vegetation each day. Despite its size and weight, it moves very quickly and unpredictably.

 

Geographic distribution of the hippopotamus

Hippopotamuses are found in Uganda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and all of southern Africa.

 

Territory of the hippopotamus

Hippopotamuses live in groups of between 10 and 30 individuals along 100 m stretches of river bank. They occupy clearly defined territories: males deposit their excrement in specific locations and scatter it in every direction using quick tail movements. Some keep the same territory for several years or even a lifetime.

Did you know?

Hippopotamuses fight for up to one and a half hours, sometimes to the death. Their lower canines, which are as sharp as razor blades, measure up to 50 cm long and weigh between 1 kg (females) and 2 kg (males).
Central and southern Africa. Lives in rivers and lakes surrounded by grassland.
Length: 3.3 m to 3.5 m.
Height: around 1.40 m.
Weight of female : 1400 kg,
Weight of males : between 1500 kg
and 3200 kg.
Grass and lowlying gramineae.
Longevity: 45 years (50 years in captivity)
Sexual maturity: 7 years.
1 offspring born after 240 days of gestation, weaned at 26 weeks

Conservation status

stable menacé très menacé

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Feeding the animals Find out more