The Full Wiki

Hippopotamus: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Hippopotamus

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Superorder: Cetartiodactyla
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Hippopotamidae
Genus: Hippopotamus
Linnaeus, 1758
Species: H. amphibius
Binomial name
Hippopotamus amphibius
Linnaeus, 1758[2]
Range map[1]

The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) or hippo, from the ancient Greek for "river horse", is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae (the other is the Pygmy Hippopotamus.) The hippopotamus is the heaviest extant artiodactyl, despite being considerably shorter than the giraffe.

The hippopotamus is semi-aquatic, inhabiting rivers and lakes where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river and groups of 5 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 grass. While hippopotamuses rest near each other in the water, grazing is a solitary activity and hippos are not territorial on land.

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.[3] The common ancestor of whales and hippos split from other even-toed ungulates around 60 million years ago.[4] The earliest known hippopotamus fossils, belonging to the genus Kenyapotamus in Africa, date to around 16 million years ago.

The hippopotamus is recognizable by its barrel-shaped torso, enormous mouth and teeth, nearly-hairless body, stubby legs and tremendous size. It is the third-largest land mammal by weight (between 1½ and 3 tonnes), behind the white rhinoceros (1½ to 3½ tonnes) and both species of elephant (3 to 9 tonnes). Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it can easily outrun a human. Hippos have been clocked at 30 km/h (19 mph) over short distances. The hippopotamus is one of the most aggressive creatures in the world and is often regarded as the most ferocious animal in Africa. There are an estimated 125,000 to 150,000 hippos throughout Sub-Saharan Africa; Zambia (40,000) and Tanzania (20,000–30,000) possess the largest populations.[1] They are still threatened by habitat loss and poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth.



The word "hippopotamus" derives from the ancient Greek ἱππος πόταμιος, hippopotamos, from ἵππος, hippos, "horse", and ποταμός, potamos, "river", meaning "horse of the river".[5] In English, the plural is hippopotamuses, but hippopotami is also used;[6] hippos can be used as a short plural. Hippopotamuses are gregarious, living in groups of up to 30 animals; such a group is called a pod, herd, dale or bloat. A male hippopotamus is known as a bull, a female as a cow and a baby as a calf. The species is also known as the Common Hippopotamus or the Nile Hippopotamus.

Taxonomy and origins


The hippopotamus is the type genus of the family Hippopotamidae. The Pygmy Hippopotamus belongs to a different genus in Hippopotamidae, either Choeropsis or Hexaprotodon. Hippopotamidae are sometimes known as Hippopotamids. Sometimes the sub-family Hippopotaminae is used. Further, some taxonomists group hippopotamuses and anthracotheres in the super-family Anthracotheroidea or Hippopotamoidea.

A hippo's skull, showing the large canine teeth used for fighting

Hippopotamidae are classified along with other even-toed ungulates in the order Artiodactyla. Other artiodactyls include camels, cows, deer and pigs, although hippopotamuses are not closely related to these groups.

Five subspecies of hippos have been described based on morphological differences in their skulls and geographical differences:[7]

  • H. a. amphibius – (the nominate subspecies) which stretched from Egypt, where they are now extinct, south up the Nile River to Tanzania and Mozambique.
  • H. a. kiboko – in the Horn of Africa, in Kenya and Somalia. Kiboko is the Swahili word for hippo. Broader nasals and more hollowed interorbital region.
  • H. a. capensis – from Zambia to South Africa. Most flattened skull of the subspecies.
  • H. a. tschadensis – throughout Western Africa to, as the name suggests, Chad. Slightly shorter and wider face, with prominent orbits.
  • H. a. constrictus – in Angola, the southern Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia. Named for its deeper preorbital constriction.

The suggested subspecies were never widely used or validated by field biologists; the described morphological differences were small enough that they could have resulted from simple variation in non-representative samples.[8] Genetic analyses have tested the existence of three of these putative subspecies. A study examining mitochondrial DNA from skin biopsies taken from 13 sampling locations, considered genetic diversity and structure among hippo populations across the continent. The authors found low but significant genetic differentiation among H. a. amphibius, H. a. capensis, and H. a. kiboko. Neither H.a.tschadensis nor H.a.constrictus have been tested.[9][10]


Until 1985, naturalists grouped hippos with pigs, based on molar patterns. However, several lines of evidence, first from blood proteins, then from molecular systematics[11] and DNA [12][13] and the fossil record, show that their closest living relatives are cetaceanswhales, porpoises and the like.[14][15] The common ancestor of hippos and whales branched off from Ruminantia and the rest of the even-toed ungulates; the cetacean and hippo lineages split soon afterwards.[12][16]

The most recent theory of the origins of Hippopotamidae suggests that hippos and whales shared a common semi-aquatic ancestor that branched off from other artiodactyls around 60 million years ago.[12][14] This hypothesized ancestral group likely split into two branches around 54 million years ago.[11] One branch would evolve into cetaceans, possibly beginning about 52 million years ago with the proto-whale Pakicetus and other early whale ancestors collectively known as Archaeoceti, which eventually underwent aquatic adaptation into the completely aquatic cetaceans.[16]

Anthracotherium magnus and Elomeryx armatus, two anthracotheres from the Oligocene, already bore similarities to the modern hippopotamus.

The other branch became the anthracotheres, a large family of four-legged beasts, the earliest of whom in the late Eocene would have resembled skinny hippopotamuses with comparatively small and narrow heads. All branches of the anthracotheres, except that which evolved into Hippopotamidae, became extinct during the Pliocene without leaving any descendants.[14]

A rough evolutionary lineage can be traced, however, from Eocene and Oligocene species: Anthracotherium and Elomeryx to the Miocene Merycopotamus and Libycosaurus and the very latest anthracotheres in the Pliocene.[17] Merycopotamus, Libycosaurus and all hippopotamids can be considered to form a clade, with Libycosaurus being more closely related to hippos. Their common ancestor would have lived in the Miocene, about 20 million years ago.

Hippopotamids are therefore deeply nested within the family Anthracotheriidae. The Hippopotamidae are believed to have evolved in Africa; the oldest known hippopotamid is the genus Kenyapotamus which lived in Africa from 16 to 8 million years ago. While hippopotamid species spread across Asia and Europe, no hippopotamuses have ever been discovered in the Americas, although various anthracothere genera emigrated into North America during the early Oligocene. From 7.5 to 1.8 million years ago an ancestor to the modern hippopotamus, Archaeopotamus, lived in Africa and the Middle East.[18]

While the fossil record of hippos is still poorly understood, the two modern genera, Hippopotamus and Choeropsis (sometimes Hexaprotodon), may have diverged as far back as 8 million years ago. Taxonomists disagree whether or not the modern Pygmy Hippopotamus is a member of Hexaprotodon—an apparently paraphyletic genus also embracing many extinct Asian hippopotamuses that is more closely related to Hippopotamus, or Choeropsis—an older and basal genus.[17][18]

Extinct species

Hippopotamus gorgops, which had unusually high orbits, lived in Europe but became extinct before the last Ice Age.

As many as three species of Malagasy Hippopotamus became extinct during the Holocene on Madagascar, one of them within the past 1,000 years. The Malagasy Hippos were smaller than the modern hippopotamus, likely through the process of insular dwarfism.[19] There is fossil evidence that many Malagasy Hippos were hunted by humans, a likely factor in their eventual extinction.[19][20] Isolated members of Malagasy Hippopotamus may have survived in remote pockets; in 1976, villagers described a living animal called the Kilopilopitsofy, which may have been a Malagasy Hippopotamus.[21]

Two separate species of Hippopotamus, the European Hippopotamus (H. antiquus) and H. gorgops ranged throughout continental Europe and the British Isles. Both species became extinct before the last glaciation. Ancestors of European Hippos found their way to many islands of the Mediterranean during the Pleistocene.[22] Both species were larger than the modern hippopotamus, averaging about 1 meter (3.3 feet) longer.

The Pleistocene also saw a number of dwarf species evolve on several Mediterranean islands including Crete (H. creutzburgi), Cyprus (H. minor), Malta (H. melitensis) and Sicily (H. pentlandi). Of these, the Cyprus Dwarf Hippopotamus, survived until the end of the Pleistocene or early Holocene. Evidence from an archaeological site Aetokremnos, continues to cause debate on whether or not the species was encountered, and was driven to extinction, by man.[23][22]


A hippo at the zoo in Lisbon
A drawing of a hippopotamus skeleton
Inside the mouth of a hippopotamus

Hippopotamuses are one of the largest mammals. They can live in the water, or go on land. Their specific gravity allows them to sink and walk or run along the bottom of a river. Hippos are considered megafauna, but unlike all other African megafauna, hippos have adapted for a semi-aquatic life in freshwater lakes and rivers.[8]

Because of their enormous size, hippopotamuses are difficult to weigh in the wild. Most estimates of the weight come from culling operations that were carried out in the 1960s. The average weights for adult males ranged between 1,500–1,800 kg (3,300–4,000 lb). Females are smaller than their male counterparts, with average weights measuring between 1,300–1,500 kg (2,900–3,300 lb).[8] Older males can get much larger, reaching at least 3,200 kg (7,100 lb) and occasionally weighing 4,500 kg (9,900 lb).[24][25] Male hippos appear to continue growing throughout their lives; females reach a maximum weight at around age 25.[26]

On the National Geographic Channel television program, "Dangerous Encounters with Brady Barr", Dr. Brady Barr measured the bite pressure of an adult female hippo at 1,821 lb (826 kg); Barr also attempted to measure the bite pressure of an adult male hippo, but had to abandon the attempt due to the male's aggressiveness.[27]

Hippos measure 3.3 to 5.2 meters (11 to 17 ft) long, including a tail of about 56 centimeters (22 in) in length and average about 1.5 meters (5 ft) tall at the shoulder.[28][29] The range of hippopotamus sizes overlaps with the range of the White Rhinoceros; use of different metrics makes it unclear which is the largest land animal after elephants. Even though they are bulky animals, hippopotamuses can run faster than a human on land. Estimates of their running speed vary from 30 km/h (18 mph) to 40 km/h (25 mph), or even 50 km/h (30 mph). The hippo can maintain these higher speeds for only a few hundred meters.[8]

A bull hippo out of water during daylight, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

A hippo's lifespan is typically 40 to 50 years.[8] Donna the Hippo, 57, is the oldest living hippo in captivity. She lives at the Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana.[30][31] The oldest hippo ever recorded was called Tanga; she lived in Munich, Germany, and died in 1995 at the age of 61.[32]

The eyes, ears, and nostrils of hippos are placed high on the roof of the skull. This allows them to be in the water with most of their body submerged in the waters and mud of tropical rivers to stay cool and prevent sunburn. Their skeletal structure is graviportal, adapted to carrying the animals' enormous weight. Hippopotamuses have small legs (relative to other megafauna) because the water in which they live reduces the weight burden. Like other aquatic mammals, the hippopotamus has very little hair.[8]

A submerged hippo at the Memphis zoo

Their skin secretes a natural sunscreen substance which is red-colored. The secretion is sometimes referred to as "blood sweat," but is neither blood nor sweat. This secretion is initially colorless and turns red-orange within minutes, eventually becoming brown. Two distinct pigments have been identified in the secretions, one red (hipposudoric acid) and one orange (norhipposudoric acid). The two pigments are highly acidic compounds. Both pigments inhibit the growth of disease-causing bacteria; as well, the light absorption of both pigments peaks in the ultraviolet range, creating a sunscreen effect. All hippos, even those with different diets, secrete the pigments, so it does not appear that food is the source of the pigments. Instead, the animals may synthesize the pigments from precursors such as the amino acid tyrosine.[33]


Hippopotamus amphibius was widespread in North Africa and Europe during the Eemian[34] and late Pleistocene until about 30,000 years ago, and it can live in colder climates provided the water does not freeze during winter. The species was common in Egypt's Nile region until historic times but has since been extirpated. Pliny the Elder writes that, in his time, the best location in Egypt for capturing this animal was in the Saite nome;[35] the animal could still be found along the Damietta branch after the Arab Conquest in 639. Hippos are still found in the rivers and lakes of Uganda, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, northern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia, west through Ghana to Gambia, and also in Southern Africa (Botswana, Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia). A separate population exists in Tanzania and Mozambique.[8]

Conservation status

The Hippopotamus Hunt (1617), by Peter Paul Rubens

Genetic evidence suggests that common hippos in Africa experienced a marked population expansion during or after the Pleistocene Epoch, attributed to an increase in water bodies at the end of the era. These findings have important conservation implications as hippo populations across the continent are currently threatened by loss of access to fresh water.[9] Hippos are also subject to unregulated hunting and poaching. In May 2006 the hippopotamus was identified as a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List drawn up by the World Conservation Union (IUCN), with an estimated population of between 125,000 and 150,000 hippos, a decline of between 7 percent and 20 percent since the IUCN's 1996 study.[1]

The hippo population declined most dramatically in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[36] The population in Virunga National Park had dropped to 800 or 900 from around 29,000 in the mid 1970s.[37] The decline is attributed to the disruptions caused by the Second Congo War.[37] The poachers are believed to be former Hutu rebels, poorly paid Congolese soldiers, and local militia groups.[37] Reasons for poaching include the belief that hippos are unintelligent, that they are harmful to society, and also for money.[38] The sale of hippo meat is illegal, but black-market sales are difficult for Virunga National Park officers to track.[37][38]

Invasive potential

In the late 1980s, Pablo Escobar kept four hippos in a private menagerie at his residence in Hacienda Napoles, 100 km east of Medellín (Colombia), after buying them in New Orleans. They were deemed too difficult to seize and move after Escobar's fall, and hence left on the untended estate. By 2007, the animals had multiplied to 16 and taken to roaming the area for food in the nearby Magdalena River.[39] In 2009, 3 individuals, two adults and one calf, escaped the herd, and after attacking humans and killing cattle, one of the adults, called "Pepe", was killed by hunters under authorization of the local authorities.[40][41] It is unknown what kind of effects this might have on the ecosystem in Colombia. According to experts interviewed by W Radio Colombia, the animals could survive in the Colombian jungles. However, it is believed that the lack of control from the Colombian government which is not used to deal with this species could result in human fatalities.


An open mouth signals that the hippo feels threatened.

Hippos spend most of their days wallowing in the water or the mud, with the other members of their pod. The water serves to keep their body temperature down, and to keep their skin from drying out. With the exception of eating, most of hippopotamuses' lives—from childbirth, fighting with other hippos, and reproduction—occur in the water.

Hippos leave the water at dusk and travel inland, sometimes up to 8 kilometers (5 mi), to graze on short grass, their main source of food. They spend four to five hours grazing and can consume 68 kilograms (150 lb) of grass each night.[42] Like almost any herbivore, they will consume many other plants if presented with them, but their diet in nature consists almost entirely of grass, with only minimal consumption of aquatic plants.[43] Hippos have (rarely) been filmed eating carrion, usually close to the water. There are other reports of meat-eating, and even cannibalism and predation.[44] The stomach anatomy of a hippo is not suited to carnivory, and meat-eating is likely caused by aberrant behavior or nutritional stress.[8]

The diet of hippos consists mostly of terrestrial grasses, but they spend most of their time in the water. Most of their defecation occurs in the water, creating allochthonous deposits of organic matter along the river beds. These deposits have an unclear ecological function.[43] Because of their size and their habit of taking the same paths to feed, hippos can have a significant impact on the land they walk across, both by keeping the land clear of vegetation and depressing the ground. Over prolonged periods hippos can divert the paths of swamps and channels.[45]

A submerged hippo at the San Diego Zoo. Adult hippos typically resurface to breathe every 3–5 minutes.

Adult hippos cannot swim and are not buoyant. When in deep water, they usually propel themselves by leaps, pushing off from the bottom. They move at speeds up to 8 km/h (5 mph) in water. However, young hippos are buoyant and more often move by swimming—propelling themselves with kicks of their hind legs. Adult hippos typically resurface to breathe every 3–5 minutes. The young have to breathe every two to three minutes.[8] The process of surfacing and breathing is automatic, and even a hippo sleeping underwater will rise and breathe without waking. A hippo closes its nostrils when it submerges.

Social life

Studying the interaction of male and female hippopotamuses has long been complicated by the fact that hippos are not sexually dimorphic and thus females and young males are almost indistinguishable in the field.[46] Although hippos like to lie in close proximity to each other, they do not seem to form social bonds except between mothers and daughters, and are not social animals. The reason they huddle in close proximity is unknown.[8]

It is difficult to identify the gender of hippos in the field, because all researchers can usually see are their backs, like with this pod in Zambia.

Hippopotamuses are territorial only in water, where a bull presides over a small stretch of river, on average 250 meters in length, and containing ten females. The largest pods can contain up to 100 hippos. Other bachelors are allowed in a bull's stretch, as long as they behave submissively toward the bull. The territories of hippos exist to establish mating rights. Within the pods, the hippos tend to segregate by gender. Bachelors will lounge near other bachelors, females with other females, and the bull on his own. When hippos emerge from the water to graze, they do so individually.[8]

Hippopotamuses appear to communicate verbally, through grunts and bellows, and it is thought that they may practice echolocation, but the purpose of these vocalizations is currently unknown. Hippos have the unique ability to hold their head partially above the water and send out a cry that travels through both water and air; hippos above and under water will respond.[47]


Female hippos reach sexual maturity at five to six years of age and have a gestation period of 8 months. A study of endocrine systems revealed that female hippopotamuses may begin puberty as early as 3 or 4 years of age.[48] Males reach maturity at around 7.5 years.

A study of hippopotamus reproductive behavior in Uganda showed that peak conceptions occurred during the end of the wet season in the summer, and peak births occurred toward the beginning of the wet season in late winter. This is because of the female's estrous cycle; as with most large mammals, male hippopotamus spermatozoa is active year round. Studies of hippos in Zambia and South Africa also showed evidence of births occurring at the start of the wet season.[8] After becoming pregnant, a female hippopotamus will typically not begin ovulation again for 17 months.[48]

Hippos can be dangerous to humans, as this sign from Kruger National Park notes.

Mating occurs in the water with the female submerged for most of the encounter, her head emerging periodically to draw breath. Hippos are one of the few mammals that give birth under water, along with Cetaceans and Sirenians (manatees and dugongs). Baby hippos are born underwater at a weight between 25 and 45 kg (60–110 lb) and an average length of around 127 cm (50 in) and must swim to the surface to take their first breath. A mother typically gives birth to only one hippo, although twins also occur. The young often rest on their mothers' backs when in water that is too deep for them, and they swim underwater to suckle. They also will suckle on land when the mother leaves the water. Weaning starts between six and eight months after birth and most calves are fully weaned after a year.[8]

Like many other large mammals, hippos are described as K-strategists, in this case typically producing just one large, well-developed infant every couple of years (rather than large numbers of small, poorly-developed young several times per year as is common among small mammals such as rodents).[8][48][49]


Hippopotamuses are ill-tempered animals. Adult hippos are hostile toward crocodiles, which often live in the same pools and rivers as hippos. This is especially so when hippo calves are around. Nile crocodiles, along with Lions and Spotted Hyenas, may prey on young hippos.[50] Hippos are very aggressive towards humans and are often considered one of the most dangerous large animals in Africa.[51][52] Hippos attack humans and boats.[53]

To mark territory, hippos spin their tails while defecating to distribute their excrement over the greatest possible area.[54] Hippos are retromingent, likely for the same reason.[55]

Hippos rarely kill each other, even in territorial challenges. Usually a territorial bull and a challenging bachelor will stop fighting when it is clear that one hippo is stronger. When hippos become overpopulated, or when a habitat starts to shrink, bulls will sometimes attempt to kill infants; sometimes female hippos will kill the bulls to protect their infants, but neither behavior is common under normal conditions.[49] Some incidents of hippo cannibalism have been documented, but it is believed to be the behavior of distressed or sick hippos, and not healthy behavior.[8]

Hippos and humans

A faience sculpture, from the New Kingdom of Egypt, 18th/19th dynasty, c. 1500–1300 BC, when hippos were still widespread along the Nile
Obaysch lounging at the London Zoo in 1852

The earliest evidence of human interaction with hippos comes from butchery cut marks upon hippo bones at Bouri Formation dated around 160,000 years ago.[56] Later rock paintings and engravings showing hippos being hunted have been found in the mountains of the central Sahara dated 4,000–5,000 years ago near Djanet in the Tassili n'Ajjer Mountains. Hippos were also well-known to the ancient Egyptians, where the hippo was recognized as a ferocious denizen of the Nile.[8] In Egyptian mythology, the hippopotamus-headed Tawaret was a goddess of protection in pregnancy and childbirth, because ancient Egyptians recognized the protective nature of a female hippopotamus toward her young.[57]

The hippopotamus has been known to historians since classical antiquity. The Greek historian Herodotus described the hippopotamus in The Histories (written circa 440 BC) and the Roman Historian Pliny the Elder wrote about the hippopotamus in his encyclopedia Naturalis Historia (written circa 77 AD).[35][58]

Hippos in zoos

Hippopotamuses have long been popular zoo animals. The first zoo hippo in modern history was Obaysch who arrived at the London Zoo on May 25, 1850, where he attracted up to 10,000 visitors a day and inspired a popular song, the Hippopotamus Polka.[59] Hippos have remained popular zoo animals since Obaysch, and generally breed well in captivity. Their birth rates are lower than in the wild, but this is attributed to zoos not wanting to breed as many hippos as possible, since hippos are large and relatively expensive animals to maintain.[8][59]

Most hippos in zoos were born in captivity. There are enough hippos in the international zoo system that introducing further animals from the wild will be unnecessary if zoos cooperate to maintain the genetic diversity of the breeding stock.[8]

Like many zoo animals, hippos were traditionally displayed in concrete exhibits. In the case of hippos, they usually had a pool of water and patch of grass. In the 1980s, zoo designers increasingly designed exhibits that reflected the animals' native habitats. The best known of these, the Toledo Zoo Hippoquarium, features a 360,000 gallon pool for hippos.[60] In 1987, researchers were able to tape, for the first time, an underwater birth (as in the wild) at the Toledo Zoo. The exhibit was so popular that the hippos became the logo of the Toledo Zoo.[61]

Cultural depictions

The cover of the Hippopotamus Polka. The unlikely portrayal of dancing hippos was echoed in Disney's Fantasia.

The Hippopotamus was known to the Greeks and Romans as the Beast of the Nile. A red hippo also represented the Ancient Egyptian god Set; the thigh is the 'phallic leg of set' symbolic of virility. Set's consort Tawaret was also seen as part hippo.[62] The Behemoth from the Book of Job, 40:15–24 is also thought to be based on a hippo.[63]

Ever since Obaysch inspired the Hippopotamus Polka, hippos have been popular animals in western culture for their rotund appearance that many consider comical.[59] Stories of hippos like Huberta who became a celebrity in South Africa in the 1930s for trekking across the country;[64] or the tale of Owen and Mzee, a hippo and tortoise who developed an intimate bond; have amused people who have bought hippo books, merchandise, and many a stuffed hippo toy.[65][66] Hippos were mentioned in the novelty Christmas song "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" that became a hit for child star Gayla Peevey in 1953.[67]. They also feature in the songs "The Hippopotamus" and "Hippo Encore" by Flanders and Swann, with the famous refrain Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud. They even inspired a popular board game, Hungry Hungry Hippos.[68][69]

Hippos have also been popular cartoon characters, where their rotund frame is used for humorous effect. The Disney film Fantasia featured a ballerina hippopotamus dancing to the opera, La Gioconda.[36] Other cartoon hippos have included Hanna-Barbera's Peter Potamus, the book and TV series George and Martha, Flavio and Marita on the Animaniacs, Pat of the French duo Pat et Stanley, The Backyardigan's Tasha, and Gloria and Moto-Moto from the Madagascar franchise.

The hippopotamus characters "Happy Hippos" were created in 1988 by the French designer Andre Roche [70] based in Munich, to be hidden in the "Kinder Surprise egg" of the Italian chocolate company Ferrero SpA. These characters were not placid like real hippos but rather cute and lively, and had such a success that they reappeared several times in different products of this company in the following years, increasing their popularity worldwide each time. The Nintendo Company published in the years 2001 and 2007 Game Boy adventures of them.

In the game of chess, the hippopotamus lends its name to the Hippopotamus Defense, a solid if unadventurous opening system.

Hippopotamus was one of the many exotic animals brought to fight gladiators in Rome by the emperor Philip I the Arab to commemorate Rome's 1000 years anniversary in 250 AD. Silver coins with hippo's image were minted that year.


  1. ^ a b c d Lewison, R. & Oliver, W. (IUCN SSC Hippo Specialist Subgroup) (2008). Hippopotamus amphibius. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 5 April 2009. Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is vulnerable.
  2. ^ "ITIS on Hippopotamus amphibius". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2007-07-29.  
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Hippopotamus from Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary]
  6. ^ Plural of hippopotamus from the OED
  7. ^ Lydekker, R. (1915). Catalogue of the Ungulate Mammals in the British Museum of Natural History. 5. London: British Museum.  
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Eltringham, S.K. (1999). The Hippos. Poyser Natural History Series. London: Academic Press. ISBN 085661131X.  
  9. ^ a b Okello, J.B.A; Nyakaana, S., Masembe, C., Siegismund, H.R. & Arctander, P. (2005). "Mitochondrial DNA variation of the common hippopotamus: evidence for a recent population expansion.". Heredity 95: 206–215. doi:10.1038/sj.hdy.6800711.  
  10. ^ Meijaard, Erik (ed.) (September 2005). "Suiform Soundings: The IUCN/SSC Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippos Specialist Group (PPHSG) Newsletter" (PDF). IUCN 5 (1).  
  11. ^ a b Ursing, B.M.; U. Arnason (1998). "Analyses of mitochondrial genomes strongly support a hippopotamus-whale clade". Proceedings of the Royal Society 265 (1412): 2251. doi:10.1098/rspb.1998.0567.  
  12. ^ a b c Gatesy, J. (1 May 1997). "More DNA support for a Cetacea/Hippopotamidae clade: the blood-clotting protein gene gamma-fibrinogen". Molecular Biology and Evolution 14 (5): 537–543. PMID 9159931.  
  13. ^ Geisler, J. H. and Theodor, J. M. (2009). "Hippopotamus and whale phylogeny". Nature 458: E1. doi:10.1038/nature07776.  
  14. ^ a b c "Scientists find missing link between the dolphin, whale and its closest relative, the hippo". Science News Daily. 2005-01-25. Retrieved 2007-06-18.  
  15. ^ "National Geographic - Hippo: Africa's River Beast". National Geographic. Retrieved 2007-07-18.  
  16. ^ a b Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Fabrice Lihoreau and Michel Brunet (February 2005). "The position of Hippopotamidae within Cetartiodactyla". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102 (5): 1537–1541. doi:10.1073/pnas.0409518102. PMID 15677331.  
  17. ^ a b Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Fabrice Lihoreau and Michel Brunet (March 2005). "Origins of Hippopotamidae (Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla): towards resolution". Zoologica Scripta 34 (2): 119–143. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2005.00183.x. Retrieved 2007-06-01.  
  18. ^ a b Boisserie, Jean-Renaud (2005). "The phylogeny and taxonomy of Hippopotamidae (Mammalia: Artiodactyla): a review based on morphology and cladistic analysis". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 143: 1–26. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2004.00138.x. Retrieved 2007-06-01.  
  19. ^ a b Stuenes, Solweig (1989). "Taxonomy, habits and relationships of the sub-fossil Madagascan hippopotamuses Hippopotamus lemerlei and H. madagascariensis.". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 9: 241–268.  
  20. ^ Tyson, Peter (2000). The Eighth Continent; Life, Death and Discovery in the Lost World of Madagascar. New York: William Morrow. ISBN 0380975777.  
  21. ^ Burney, David A.; Ramilisonina (December 1998). "The Kilopilopitsofy, Kidoky, and Bokyboky: Accounts of Strange Animals from Belo-sur-mer, Madagascar, and the Megafaunal "Extinction Window"". American Anthropologist 100 (4): 957–966. doi:10.1525/aa.1998.100.4.957.  
  22. ^ a b Petronio, C. (1995): Note on the taxonomy of Pleistocene hippopotamuses. Ibex 3: 53–55. PDF fulltext
  23. ^ A. Simmons (2000). "Faunal extinction in an island society: pygmy hippopotamus hunters of Cyprus". Geoarchaeology 15 (4): 379–381. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6548(200004)15:4<379::AID-GEA7>3.0.CO;2-E.  
  24. ^ "Hippopotamus: WhoZoo". Retrieved 2008-11-03.  
  25. ^ "ADW: Hippopotamus amphibius: Information". Retrieved 2008-11-03.  
  26. ^ Marshall, P.J.; Sayer, J.A. (1976). "Population ecology and response to cropping of a hippopotamus population in eastern Zambia". The Journal of Applied Ecology 13 (2): 391. doi:10.2307/2401788.  
  27. ^ Barr, Brady. "Undercover Hippo," Dangerous Encounters, National Geographic Channel, January 20, 2008.
  28. ^ "Physical Description". Retrieved 2009-05-08.  
  29. ^ "Mammals: Hippopotamus". Retrieved 2009-05-08.  
  30. ^ "Oldest Hippo Turns 55!". Mesker Park Zoo. July 12, 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  31. ^ "Celebrate with Donna". Evansville Courier & Press. 2007-07-12. Retrieved 2007-07-15.  
  32. ^ "Old mother hippo dies". Agence France Press. July 12, 1995.  
  33. ^ Saikawa Y, Hashimoto K, Nakata M, Yoshihara M, Nagai K, Ida M, Komiya T (2004). "Pigment chemistry: the red sweat of the hippopotamus". Nature 429 (6990): 363. doi:10.1038/429363a. PMID 15164051.  
  34. ^ van Kolfschoten, Th. (2000). "The Eemian mammal fauna of central Europe". Netherlands Journal of Geosciences 79 (2/3): 269–281.  
  35. ^ a b Pliny the Elder. "Chapter 15, Book VIII" (in Latin original or English translation). Naturalis Historia.  
  36. ^ a b "Hippo Haven". Smithsonian Magazine. 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2007-01-23.  
  37. ^ a b c d "DR Congo's hippos face extinction.". BBC. 2005-09-13. Retrieved 2005-11-14.  
  38. ^ a b "Congo's hippos fast disappearing". Toronto Star.  
  39. ^ Kraul C. (December 20, 2006). "A hippo critical situation". Los Angeles Times.,0,5373140.story. Retrieved 2008-03-27.  
  40. ^ "Colombia kills drug baron hippo". BBC News. 2009-07-11. Retrieved 2009-07-11.  
  41. ^ "Crece controversia en el país por decisión de cazar a hipopótamos de Pablo Escobar". El Tiempo. Retrieved 2009-07-11.  
  42. ^ "Hippopotamus". Kruger National Park. Retrieved 2007-06-18.  
  43. ^ a b Grey, J.; Harper, D.M. (2002). "Using Stable Isotope Analyses To Identify Allochthonous Inputs to Lake Naivasha Mediated Via the Hippopotamus Gut". Isotopes in Environmental Health Studies 38 (4): 245–250. doi:10.1080/10256010208033269.  
  44. ^ J.P. Dudley. "Reports of carnivory by the common hippo Hippopotamus Amphibius". South African Journal of Wildlife Research 28 (2): 58–59.  
  45. ^ McCarthy, T.S.; W.N. Ellery, A Bloem (1998). "Some observations on the geomorphological impact of hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius L.) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana". African Journal of Ecology 36 (1): 44–56. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2028.1998.89-89089.x.  
  46. ^ Beckwitt, R.; Shea, J., Osborne, D., Krueger, S., and Barklow, W. (2002). "A PCR-based method for sex identification in Hippopotamus amphibius". African Zoology Journal: 127–130.  
  47. ^ William E. Barklow (2004). "Low-frequency sounds and amphibious communication in Hippopotamus amphibious". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 115 (5): 2555.  
  48. ^ a b c Graham L.H.; Reid K.; Webster T.; Richards M.; Joseph S. (2002). "Endocrine patterns associated with reproduction in the Nile hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) as assessed by fecal progestagen analysis". General and Comparative Endocrinology 128 (1): 74–81. doi:10.1016/S0016-6480(02)00066-7. PMID 12270790.  
  49. ^ a b Lewison, R (1998). "Infanticide in the hippopotamus: evidence for polygynous ungulates". Ethology, Ecology & Evolution 10 (3): 277–286.   CSA
  50. ^ "Hippopotamus". Retrieved 2008-11-03.  
  51. ^ Dangerous Encounters: Undercover Hippo. National Geographic Channel. Accessed November 4, 2008.
  52. ^ Hippo Specialist Group, World Conservation Union. (June 2008). In the News. Duke University. Accessed November 4, 2008.
  53. ^ "Are hippos the most dangerous animal?". 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2008-08-09.  
  54. ^ National Geographic exhibit on different animals and their poop.
  55. ^ Nature's World: Africa's Lions and Wildebeests. Discovery HD Theater. 2002-06-17.  
  56. ^ Clark JD, Beyene Y, WoldeGabriel G, Hart WK, Renne PR, Gilbert H, Defleur A, Suwa G, Katoh S, Ludwig KR, Boisserie JR, Asfaw B, White TD. (2003). Stratigraphic, chronological and behavioural contexts of Pleistocene Homo sapiens from Middle Awash, Ethiopia. Nature. 423(6941):747-52. PMID 12802333
  57. ^ Hart, George (1986). A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Routledge. ISBN 0415059097.  
  58. ^ Herodotus. "Chapter 71, Book II" (in English translation). The Histories.  
  59. ^ a b c Root, N. J. (1993). "Victorian England’s Hippomania.". Natural History 103: 34–39.  
  60. ^ Melissa Greene (December 1987). "No rms, jungle vu: a new group of "landscape-immersion" zoo designers are trying to break down visitors' sense of security by reminding them that wild animals really are wild.". The Atlantic Monthly.  
  61. ^ "Hippoquarium". Toledo Zoo. Retrieved 2007-03-26.  
  62. ^ Cooper, JC (1992). Symbolic and Mythological Animals. London: Aquarian Press. p. 129. ISBN 1-85538-118-4.  
  63. ^ Metzeger, Bruce M. (ed); , Michael D. Coogan (ed) (1993). The Oxford Companion to the Bible. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 76. ISBN 0-19-504645-5.  
  64. ^ Chilvers, H.A. (1931). Huberta Goes South, a Record of the Lone Trek of the Celebrated Zululand Hippopotamus. London: Gordon & Gotch.  
  65. ^ "A hippo and tortoise tale". NPR. 2005-07-17. Retrieved 2007-06-18.  
  66. ^ Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff and Dr. Paula Kahumbu (2006). Owen & Mzee; The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship. New York: Scholastic Press.  
  67. ^ "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas Lyrics". Retrieved 2007-12-20.  
  68. ^ "Childhood Trauma: Hungry Hungry Hippos". Newcastle Herald (Australia). 2006-05-02.  
  69. ^ "Fred Kroll, of Trouble and Hungry Hungry Hippos games, dead at 82". Associated Press. 2003-08-05.  
  70. ^ Andre Roche at Kindest Illustrations. Retrieved on 14 August 2008.

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Hippopotami article)

From Wikiquote

Although he seems so firm to us
He is merely flesh and blood.

The hippopotamus is the World's second largest terrestrial animal.


  • I shoot the Hippopotamus
    With bullets made of platinum,
    Because if I use leaden ones
    His hide is sure to flatten 'em.
    • Hilaire Belloc, "The Hippopotamus", The Bad Child's Book of Beasts (1896).
    • Parody: American women shoot the hippopotamus with eyebrows made of platinum.
  • The broad-backed hippopotamus
    Rests on his belly in the mud;
    Although he seems so firm to us
    He is merely flesh and blood.
  • Did you ever see the Rhinoceros, and the Hippopotamus, at the Zoological Gardens, trying to dance a minuet together? It is a touching sight.
    • Lewis Carroll, A Selection from the Letters of Lewis Carroll to his Child-Friends (1933) edited by Evelyn M. Hatch, Letter to Gaynor Simpson (27 December 1873), p.91
  • He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk
    Descending from the bus:
    He looked again, and found it was
    A Hippopotamus:
    'If this should stay to dine,' he said,
    'There won't be much for us!'
    • Lewis Carroll, Sylvie and Bruno, Chapter 7: The Baron's Embassy
  • A man looking at a hippopotamus may sometimes be tempted to regard a hippopotamus as an enormous mistake.
  • Behold the hippopotamus!
    We laugh at how he looks to us,
    And yet in moments dank and grim,
    I wonder how we look to him.
  • Away on the hilltop sat combing her hair
    His fair Hippopotamine maid.
    The Hippopotamus was no ignoramus
    And sang her this sweet serenade:

    Mud! Mud! Glorious mud!
    Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood.
    So, follow me, follow, down to the hollow,
    And there let us wallow in glorious mud.
  • There is something about a blurb-writer paying his respects to a funny book which puts one in mind of a short-sighted lord mayor raising his hat to a hippopotamus.
  • The muckle hippopotamus
    spelders in glaur apo’ his kite.
    A solid fact he seems tae some.
    They arena right.

    The hippo’s coorse digestive tract
    erodes through frequent emptying.
    The KIRK’s the only solid fact
    that winna ding.


  • Woman at zoo: Is that a male or a female hippopotamus?
    Keeper: Madam, I don't see how that could interest anybody except another hippopotamus.
    • Attr. variously to Julian Huxley, Sanche de Gramont, and Harold W. Ross

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to The Hippopotamus article)

From Wikisource

The Hippopotamus
by T. S. Eliot
The Hippopotamus was first published in 1920 in T.S. Eliot's book Poems.

     Similiter et omnes revereantur Diaconos, ut
     mandatum Jesu Christi; et Episcopum, ut Jesum
     Christum, existentem filium Patris; Presbyteros
     autem, ut concilium Dei et conjunctionem
     Apostolorum. Sine his Ecclesia non vocatur; de
     quibus suadeo vos sic habeo.


     And when this epistle is read among you, cause
     that it be read also in the church of the

The broad-backed hippopotamus
Rests on his belly in the mud;
Although he seems so firm to us
He is merely flesh and blood.

Flesh-and-blood is weak and frail,
Susceptible to nervous shock;
While the True Church can never fail
For it is based upon a rock.

The hippo's feeble steps may err
In compassing material ends,
While the True Church need never stir
To gather in its dividends.

The 'potamus can never reach
The mango on the mango-tree;
But fruits of pomegranate and peach
Refresh the Church from over sea.

At mating time the hippo's voice
Betrays inliexions hoarse and odd,
But every week we hear rejoice
The Church, at being one with God.

The hippopotamus's day
Is passed in sleep; at night he hunts;
God works in a mysterious way-
The Church can sleep and feed at once.

I saw the 'potamus take wing
Ascending from the damp savannas,
And quiring angels round him sing
The praise of God, in loud hosannas.

Blood of the Lamb shall wash him clean
And him shall heavenly arms enfold,
Among the saints he shall be seen
Performing on a harp of gold.

He shall be washed as white as snow,
By all the martyr'd virgins kiss,
While the True Church remains below
Wrapt in the old miasmal mist.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also hippopotamus




From Latin and New Latin hippopotamus < Ancient Greek ἱπποπόταμος (hippopotamos) < ἵππος (hippos), horse) + ποταμός (potamos), river).

Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:



  1. (zoology) a zoological name at the rank of genus.
The hippopotamus belongs to Hippopotamus.
Wikispecies has information on:


Derived terms

  • Hippopotamidae
  • Hippopotamus amphibius
  • Hippopotamus madagascariensis - extinct
  • Hippopotamus lemerlei - extinct


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Superordo: Cetartiodactyla
Ordo: Artiodactyla
Subordo: Suina
Familia: Hippopotamidae
Genus: Hippopotamus
Species: H. amphibius - †H. antiquus - †H. creutzburgi - †H. lemerleiH. madagascariensis - †H. melitensis - †H. minor - †H. pentlandi


Hippopotamus Linnaeus, 1758

Vernacular names

Afrikaans: Seekoei
العربية: فرس النهر
বাংলা: Jalahastha
Български: Хипопотам
Català: Hipopotam
Česky: Hroch
Dansk: Flodhest
Deutsch: Flusspferd
Eesti: Jöehobu
Ελληνικά: Ιπποπόταμος
English: Hippopotamus
Español: Hipopótamo
Français: Hippopotame
한국어: 하마
हिन्दी: Jal Hasti
Hrvatski: Nilski konj
Italiano: Ippopotamo
Kiswahili: Kiboko
Magyar: Vizlio
Nederlands: Nijlpaard
日本語: カバ属
Polski: Hipopotam
Português: Hipopótamo
Русский: Behemot
Suomi: Virtahepo
Svenska: Flodhäst
தமிழ்: Neer Yanai
Türkçe: Su Aygırı
中文: 河馬
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Hippopotamus amphibius on Wikimedia Commons.

Simple English

A hippopotamus in the water at the Memphis Zoo
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Superorder: Cetartiodactyla
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Hippopotamidae
Genus: Hippopotamus
Species: H. amphibius
Binomial name
Hippopotamus amphibius
Linnaeus, 1758
File:Hippo distribution.gif
Range map

The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), or hippo, from the ancient Greek for "river horse" (Ιπποπόταμος), is a large mammal in Africa that usually eats plants. It is one of the only two species in the family Hippopotamidae that are still alive. The other is the Pygmy Hippopotamus. The hippopotamus is the third largest land animal (the elephant is the largest, and the white rhinoceros is the second largest). It is also the heaviest artiodactyl, even though it is much shorter than the giraffe.

The hippopotamus is semi-aquatic. This means that even though it usually lives on the land, it spends a great amount of time in rivers and lakes where males lead groups of 5 to 30 females and young. In the daytime, they keep cool by staying in the water or mud. They give birth to baby hippos in the water, too. At dusk, they come out to graze on grass. Hippopotamuses rest together in the water, but they like to graze by themselves.

The hippopotamus has a torso that is shaped like a barrel, very big mouth and teeth, almost hairless body, short legs and great size. It is the third largest land mammal, judging by its weight, which is between between 1½ and 3 tonnes. The white rhinoceros weighs 1½ to 3½ tonnes, and the three species of elephant weigh 3 to 9 tonnes. Even though it has short, fat legs, it can run more quickly than a human. Some hippos have run at 30 km/h (19 mph) for short distances. The hippopotamus is one of the fiercest animals in the world. It is often called one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. There are about 125,000 to 150,000 hippos in Sub-Saharan Africa. Zambia (40,000) and Tanzania (20,000 – 30,000) have the most hippos. They are threatened because they are losing their habitats and being poached for their meat and ivory teeth.



The word "hippopotamus" comes from the ancient Greek ἱπποπόταμος, hippopotamos, from ἵππος, hippos, "horse", and ποταμός, potamos, which means "river". So, "hippopotamus" means "horse of the river".[1] More than one hippopotamus are called hippopotamuses, hippopotami, or hippos.[2] Hippopotamuses are social. About 30 hippos live together in groups. This kind of group is called a pod, herd, dale, or bloat. A male hippopotamus is known as a bull. A female hippopotamus is called a cow, and a baby hippo is called a calf. The species is also known as the Common Hippopotamus or the Nile Hippopotamus.


File:Hippo zoo
A hippo at the zoo in Lisbon

[[File:|thumb|250px|A drawing of a hippopotamus skeleton]]

File:Mouth of a
Inside the mouth of a hippopotamus

Hippopotamuses are the fourth largest mammals in the world (after whales, elephants, and rhinoceroses). They can live in the water or on land. They swim very well, and can walk or even run along the bottom of a river.

Because hippos are so large, it is difficult to weigh them in the wild. Most adult male hippos weigh between Template:Convert/–. Females hippos are smaller, and usually weigh between Template:Convert/–. Older males can get even bigger. They are at least 3,200 kg (7,100 lb) and sometimes even weigh 4,500 kg (9,900 lb).[3][4]

Male hippos seem to keep on growing for their whole lives. Females hippos, though, become heaviest when they are about 25 years old.[5]

Hippos have big and heavy bodies, dark gray skin, and short legs. A hippo's main defence is their extremely strong mouth. Hippos are actually strong enough to break an alligator in half with one bite[needs proof], but they are usually not violent unless something attacks their babies. They can grow to be 15 feet long and weigh 3,000 pounds. [6]


Hippopotamuses are herbivores. They live in groups. Sometimes 30 hippopotamuses will live in the same place. They swim very well, and can actually walk along the bottom of the river. [6]They usually stay in the mud and water during the day and come out to eat grass or leaves at night. The people of the Congo love to eat hippopotamus meat. [6]Many of the hippos are killed for food, even though it is illegal.


Many hippos lived in North Africa and Europe[7] until about 30,000 years ago. They used to be common in Egypt's Nile region from long ago, though they are not there now. Pliny the Elder writes that, in his time, the best place in Egypt for finding this animal was in the Saite nome.[8] The animal could still be found around there after the Arab Conquest in 639. Hippos are still found in the rivers and lakes of Uganda, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, northern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia, west through Ghana to Gambia, and also in Southern Africa (Botswana, Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia). Some hippos also live in Tanzania and Mozambique. They like to live in places with water that is not too deep.

Hippos and humans

File:Hippopotamus Egypt fayence
A faience sculpture, from the New Kingdom of Egypt, 18th/19th dynasty, c. 1500–1300 BC, when hippos were still widespread along the Nile
File:Obaysch 1852.gif
Lounging at the London Zoo in 1852


Hippos are very aggressive towards humans, whom they commonly attack whether in boats or on land with no apparent provocation. This aggression by the Hippopotamus is caused by humans coming to close to their children. Hippopotamus's are very protective of their young and they often fear that humans pose a large threat to their young. [9] They are widely considered to be one of the most dangerous large animals in Africa.[10][11]


The earliest proof that humans were involved with hippos comes from butchery cut marks on hippo bones at Bouri Formation from around 160,000 years ago.[12] Later rock paintings and engravings showing hippos being hunted. They have been found in the mountains of the central Sahara from 4,000–5,000 years ago near Djanet. Ancient Egyptians also knew much about hippos. They knew the hippo was a fierce, wild animal that lived in the Nile. In Egyptian mythology, Tawaret, a goddess of protection in pregnancy and childbirth, had the head of a hippo. This was because ancient Egyptians saw how protective female hippopotamuses could be about their young.[13]


  1. Hippopotamus from Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary]
  2. Plural of hippopotamus from the OED
  3. "Hippopotamus: WhoZoo". Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  4. "ADW: Hippopotamus amphibius: Information". Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  5. Marshall, P.J.; Sayer, J.A. (1976). "Population ecology and response to cropping of a hippopotamus population in eastern Zambia". The Journal of Applied Ecology 13 (2): 391–403. doi:10.2307/2401788. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 History and Geography. LIFEPAC. Alpha Omega Publications. pp. 39 to 40. ISBN 978-1-58095-155-5. 
  7. van Kolfschoten, Th. (2000). "The Eemian mammal fauna of central Europe". Netherlands Journal of Geosciences 79 (2/3): 269–281. 
  8. Pliny the Elder. "Chapter 15, Book VIII" (in Latin original or English translation). Naturalis Historia. 
  9. "Are hippos the most dangerous animal?". 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  10. Dangerous Encounters: Undercover Hippo. National Geographic Channel. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  11. Hippo Specialist Group, World Conservation Union. (June 2008). In the News. Duke University. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  12. Clark JD, Beyene Y, WoldeGabriel G, Hart WK, Renne PR, Gilbert H, Defleur A, Suwa G, Katoh S, Ludwig KR, Boisserie JR, Asfaw B, White TD. (2003). Stratigraphic, chronological and behavioural contexts of Pleistocene Homo sapiens from Middle Awash, Ethiopia. Nature. 423(6941):747-52. PMID 12802333
  13. Hart, George (1986). A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Routledge. ISBN 0415059097. article retrieved on November 11, 2010

Other websites

English Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Error creating thumbnail: sh: convert: command not found
Wikimedia Commons has images, video, and/or sound related to:
Error creating thumbnail: sh: convert: command not found
Wikimedia Commons has images, video, and/or sound related to:
Look up Hippopotamus in Wikispecies, a directory of species

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address