Fast Facts on Hippos
Hippopotamus amphibius

©Karl Svendsen
The only other member of the hippo family is the rare pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) which is found in West Africa. Compared to its brutish cousin, the pygmy hippo only weighs about 200 kg and its lives alone or in pairs in swamps and along forest streams.

Size
Height 140 cm
Weight
Male 2000-3000 kg, Female 1400 kg
Lifespan
About 35-40 years
Habitat
Permanent water that abuts grasslands
Gestation
8 month gestation
Number of young
1
Food
Grazers – unselective
Predators
Hippos are mostly immune to predation due to large size. They cluster together in the water to protect the young from crocodiles. Lions and hyenas do occasionally attack hippos when on land at night.

Four Toes

©Shem Compion
Hippos have unique feet. They are the only ungulate to possess 4 toes. Because they have an even amount of toes, like antelope which have 2 claws or toes, they belong to the order Artiodactyla i.e. even-toed ungulates.

How to Tell Which Sex?

©Shem Compion
Hippos have internal testes like elephants. This makes it difficult to tell males and females apart. Generally, males are larger than females.

By Megan Emmett