Did You Know...
- The closest living relative of hippos (hippopotamidae) are whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans). Not pigs as was thought at one time.
- The earliest hippo fossils date to around 16 million years ago.
- One of the largest reported hippos weighed almost 6,000 lbs. The mean adult weight for a male is 3,300 lbs and 2,900 lbs for females.
- Hippos cannot jump but can run up to 19 mph for short distances.
- The skin of a hippopotamus is 2 inches thick. It secretes a red colored substance that acts as a natural sunscreen. It has often been referred to as "blood sweat" but is neither.
- Hippos can sleep under water, rising to the surface to breathe without waking. Their nostrils close prior to submerging.
- The hippo life span can be 40-50 years.
- Hippopotamuses are a “vulnerable” species, one step down from “endangered” in its ranking of extinction risk.
Your local library is a good source for more information on hippos and so much more. Check it out. (Pun intended, of course.)