Hippos are very grumpy animals that don’t engage with zoo visitors. They maintain a distance and are seen lazing around on the surface or taking a slow bath in the water and totally in their world. Here we will discuss a few categories where they play, eat, bond with their mothers, and others.
These animals are very loud and use noises to communicate with one another in their groups. These sounds are quite distinct and have been described as whines, growls, honks, and squeaks. At times, it also resembles the sound of human laughter.
On land, it’s said their calls can be heard up to a mile away, but hippos have also been known to vocalize underwater. Not much is understood about what each call means or why they are doing it, but it’s their way of spreading messages like other animals. They could be alerting other hippos to danger, signalling a time to move or stay still, or calling after their young.
Baby Hippopotamus Playing
Known to be territorial and aggressive, the hippopotamus also has a lighter side. Baby hippos engage in play fighting, tag games, and hide and seek in their watery homes.
Hippopotamus Mother Son Duo
Both of his parents nurture and protect their baby for most of his first year of life. Being the only offspring, a baby hippopotamus is the center of their devotion.
The hippopotamus is adapted to giving birth either on land or in shallow water. After she has chosen her location, the mother gives birth to one calf. A new-born hippopotamus can weigh between 50 and 110 pounds. Adults can hold their breath for five minutes when submerged, but if the mother gives birth to her young underwater, she has only about 40 seconds to bring him up to the surface for his first breath. Once the calf is born, the mother remains isolated from the herd, remaining with her baby for several days to two weeks. During this time, she nurses the calf, bonds with him, and forgoes her grazing until she is confident that he can safely accompany her back to the herd.
Hippos feed on the same short grass that other herbivores like zebras, Uganda mobs, zebras, and buffaloes can feed on. For having a balanced diet, hippos will eat a few species of wild fruit. This makes a very tiny percentage of their diet. During the day, a hippo might be seen eating the grass found on the banks of the rivers and lakes they inhabit. This is because it is much easier and convenient to take short trips from the water during the day to feed and return when it gets a little hot.
In the evening is when hippos go out of the water for severe feeding. They can move long distances of more than 8 kilometres in search of food. Their ability to tear apart most animals – including lions or crocodiles is why the hippo is the most dangerous wild animal in the African savannah. There are many other cases where it is said that they violently chop down on the meat as a way of ‘killing’ the animal that has disturbed them. As a way of ensuring that death is reached and the animal is left in many pieces.
Hippopotamus Playing In Mud
Mud wallows are good environmental and behavioral enrichment, but they are also suitable for skin health. The Mud helps protect the hippo’s skin from the sun and biting insects. Social interaction and play are stimulated in and around a mud wallow. As well as health benefits to the hippopotamus’ skin, mud wallows are crucial for physical and mental health. That is why hippos love to play in Mud.
Hippopotamus Taking Bath
Though the Greeks called them river horses, you will almost always see hippos in the water, and they can’t swim or float. They will spend hours in rivers and lakes, sometimes with only their eyes showing, but they remain in shallow waters. They find sandy river bottoms and banks to stand on. This is one of the ways of taking a bath.
Most of their foraging activity is done at night since they’re nocturnal animals, but they have to find a way to protect them from the midday sun during the heat of the day. The Mud and water act as a barrier to soothe their skin and regulate their temperature.
Hippopotamus Making Cute Faces
Hippos have a reputation for being rather grumpy creatures, but you really wouldn’t believe it when you see these cute little critters. Hippopotamuses are thought to be around 55 million years old. Despite their tubby appearance, hippos can easily outrun a human, and they can be very aggressive, especially when threatened. They still look cute, though, by making different funny faces.