Hippo in Greek means both “river horse”. More common name of this huge animal hippo. You may be surprised – that is common between the graceful horse and this thick clumsy inhabitant African rivers? But do not judge by appearance. Behemoth moves perfectly in water and on land. He runs fast, and in a fight with him, hardly anyone beats. Suffice it to say that he had almost no enemies. The only one who risked attack formidable behemoth – a man.
Among the giants of the land behemoth weight is second only to the elephant. The adult male reaches a length of four and a half meters. Its height of five feet and weighs three and a half tons. In girth behemoth is almost equal to its length, and a huge trunk with a massive head-supported short-legged tables.
When a hippo is in the water above the surface can be seen only by his ears, eyes and nostrils. It is almost invisible, and only birds betray his presence. They use a hippopotamus head as a safe resting place. From there they fish. Hippos do not mind this neighborhood, because the birds peck at the hippo hide small parasites. And if a hippo is wounded, then clean his wounds, preventing the ingress of infection. After sunset, the hippopotamus is transformed into a land animal. He emerges from the water and goes in search of food. Hippos – herbivores. During the night they pass through miles and eat up to five hundred pounds of grass.
Sometimes from the raids hippos seriously affected fields, and sometimes people. Hippos attack people only when they hurt him or invade his territory. People hunt hippos for strong skin and tender meat. This led to the fact that hippos were only in Central, Southern and Eastern Africa. But before they can be placed anywhere in the continent. Hippos are very aggressive animals. They fight – it is a way of communication. During the mating season the rivers and lakes turn into a place of bloody battles. Hippos, unlike other animals, always fighting to the death. Fighting between equal opponents can last up to two hours.
Hippopotamus teeth – a terrible weapon. Both jaws he seated huge incisors, canines and the lower reach a length of more than half. It is a behemoth of cripples the enemy, causing serious injury. But not always during mating hippos fighting. They have another way to clarify the relationship. Two males are back together and start hard to defecate. Short flat tail they throw litter in all directions. The winner is the one who in a short time more abundantly defecating. Of course, this method is less bloodshed, but looks rather repulsive.
The female hippo bears one cub 8 months. At birth it weighs 40-60 pounds. Hippos live up to fifty years old, usually in large herds.
Not so long ago, in the dense tropical forests of people have discovered a new species of hippos – a pygmy hippopotamus. Its length is just one and a half meters. He is very shy and secretive. But in captivity is very affectionate and well propagated.
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