It's crazy.  February is here already and Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away.  If you are looking for a book with a heart, and a brain, for a wee Valentine, How to Grow Hippo! might fill the bill.  In it Jack, based on author Becky Schantz's son, learns about the power of love.  And there's a hippopotamus involved!  What's not to like?  Check it out on Amazon here.

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.)

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