There are two different variants in the hippo family, the hippo described here – also known as the 'river horse' – and the pygmy hippo. The large canines and incisors of hippos play a significant role in their everyday life. Hippos live in savannahs where they inhabit the banks of rivers and lakes.
The hippo is a happy-go-lucky contemporary. They snooze in the water during the day, where often only their ears, eyes and the nostrils of their powerful mouth peer out. They may even take a nice soak in the mud too. They become livelier at night and head to the shores where they can taste the succulent grass.
Africa, south of the Sahara
ommonly close to rivers and lakes
Hippos are herbivores and so they subsist on plant food. Grass is their favourite.
125,000 to 150,000
2.7 to 3 meters
1 to 3 t
- Gestation period
approx. 8 months
- Achievable age
between 30 and 40 years in human care
Threat Categories of IUCN
...hippos weigh up to 3 tons – as much as a removal van,
...can stay submerged for over 6 minutes,
...give birth underwater
...and mark their territory with piles of excrement?