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Hippopotamuses are a family of large, heavy, amphibious mammals. Only two species survive today: the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) and the pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis).
Free Hippo Coloring Pages
Hippopotamuses are artiodactyl mammals, that is, ungulates that have an even number of toes on each foot, and at least two of them (which are symmetrical) rest on the ground. Ungulates are animals that have hooves or hoofs.
These animals developed during the Miocene and belonged to the family Hippopotamidae. Their suborder is the Whippomorpha, a clade containing cetaceans (dolphins, whales, etc.). In other words, hippopotamuses are related to cetaceans. They are the closest living relatives.
The word “hippopotamus” comes from the Latin word hippopotamus. It derives from the Greek word hippopotamus, which is composed of two parts: hippos, meaning horse, and potamos, meaning river. Therefore, the name of this animal means “river horse”.
The Egyptians called it “river pig” and the Arabs “water buffalo”. This is because hippopotamuses are semi-aquatic animals that live in lakes and rivers.
Africa is its primary habitat, especially in the sub-Saharan area. However, some hippopotamuses are also seen in Black Africa and East African countries that do not border the Mediterranean.
Why has the hippopotamus chosen this place as its habitat? Because it has what it needs: water and warmth.
This animal is territorial, and we will always see it in groups. To mark its territory, it will defecate and wag its tail to move its defecations from one side to the other, extending its territory.
They go in groups of 5 to 30, of which the majority will be females that the males have chosen as mothers for their future offspring.
It is unknown what they are based on, but not all are “lucky”. Occasionally, territorial fights may break out between them, but these end as soon as it becomes clear that one is stronger than the other.
Although we may think of it as a gentle animal because it is herbivorous, many define it as the most dangerous animal in Africa.
It has been seen on many occasions how it killed different animals simply because it was uncomfortable with its presence.
It does the same with humans. Therefore, if we decide to explore somewhere where there are hippos, we must be careful.