Instagram – Sep 30, 2022 @ 12:30
The third-largest land mammal, the Hippopotamus is among the deadliest mammals in the world. Their name comes from the Greek translation of “river horse.” Hippos often spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in water. They can even sleep underwater, going up for air and sinking back down without waking up.
Hippos have no sweat glands so staying in water protects them from heat, sunburn, and dehydration during the day. At night, they forage for food and, being mostly herbivores, feed on grass, leaves, fruits, and aquatic plants.
Hippos are commonly found in sub-Saharan Africa in slow-moving rivers and lakes and have an average lifespan of 40 years. They are social animals that live in herds of anywhere from 10 to 30 members, which helps them ward off predators. They also utilize their yawn, displaying their sharp teeth and wide jaws that can extend up to 150°, to scare off any threats.
These semiaquatic giants are currently listed as Vulnerable due to habitat loss, deforestation, and poaching.