Among the many facts about Hippos, Hippos can’t breathe in the water, they spend most of their time submerged in water, hippos need to resurface every 3 – 5 minutes to breathe.
They even do this when sleeping! The motion of surfacing and breathing through their nostrils is an automatic one, so hippos who are deep in their slumber will still subconsciously rise to the top for a breath of air.
Another interesting fact is that they don’t know how to swim. Interesting right? Or it might seems not logical at all. It is true though, the main reason they spend so much time in the water is mainly to protect their extremely sensitive skin from the harsh African sun.
Many people think hippos are great swimmers when in reality, they cannot swim at all!
When you see a hippo in a body of water, they’re actually balancing on their tippy-toes or standing on a sandbank. Hippo’s sink when in deep water, which isn’t too surprising considering males can weigh up to 3 200 kg! So when a hippo is underwater, they aren’t swimming but rather trotting along on the bottom.
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Other Interesting facts about Hippos or Hippopotamus
- They Have Incredibly Sensitive Skin: – If you’ve ever seen a hippo basking in the sun, you may have noticed what seems to be blood dripping from their skin. There is no need to be alarmed though, this substance is, in fact, a built-in “Hippo Sunblock” which is oily and red in color. It not only provides much-needed protection from the sun’s rays but is also an effective moisturizer and germ-killer, too.
- Sub-Saharan Africa is the home to the second heaviest land mammal in the world, the hippopotamus.
- Despite their size, they eat just 1–1.5 percent of their body weight every day.
- Hippos sink in water. They run along the river bottom instead of swimming.
- Hippos Are Territorial – But Only In Water
- Hippos tend to grunt, growl and moan, but can also make a roaring ‘chuffing’ s0und. In large groups, the noise can reach up to 115 decibels!
- A group of hippos/hippopotamus can be called a bloat, pod, or herd.
- Hippos secrete a reddish oily fluid sometimes called “blood sweat” but is neither sweat or blood.
This fluid functions as a skin moisturizer, sunscreen, water repellent, and antibiotic.
- Hippos graze at night to avoid the days hot sun that ruin their skin
- Once young ones are born, they are kept away from the herd to avoid killing due to territorial dominance. They are introduced to the group with a lot of caution.
Bonus Facts:- A hippo’s stomach has four chambers like cows, in which enzymes break down the tough cellulose in the grass that it eats. However, hippos do not chew the cud, so are not true ruminants like antelopes and cattle.
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