I want a hippopotamus for…well…you know!
Hippopotamus (hippopotamus amphibius) are iconic amphibious herbivores that can weigh between 3,000 and 9,900 pounds, depending on gender. Some simple research on these giant creatures turns up an astounding amount of interesting facts and statistics. Hippos are found in social pods of 10 – 30 animals throughout sub-Sahara Africa. These unique creatures are amphibious, spending most of the day in the water/mud to keep their skin moist and moving onto land at night to feed on grass. Interestingly though, because they spend their day in the water, with their size and density, hippos cannot swim or float! They can however, see, hear and breathe while most of their body is underwater, as their eyes, ears and nostrils are located on the top of their heads.
Adult hippos can hold their breath underwater for up to 30 minutes and can even sleep underwater, as they have a natural reflex that help push them to the surface for a breath without even waking up. Additionally, hippos have a very keen sense of smell and when threatened, can run up to 14 miles per hour on land!
Come check out the Zoo’s two resident hippos, Herbie and Emma, in their unique Hippoquarium home!