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Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus amphibius
Hippopotamus

Range

They are found mostly in East Africa. They used to be found all over the African grassland region but their range is shrinking as Africa's human population expands into their habitat.

Habitat

They live in a deep lake, pond, or river out on the grasslands (savannah).

Body Traits

They can measure up to 17 feet long and weigh almost 9,000 pounds. Their eyes and nostrils are on the top of their head so they can be totally under water and still see, smell and breathe. They have long, sharp canine teeth that are very dangerous. Hippos often fight and seriously hurt each other.

Habits

They are active mostly at night (nocturnal). They gather in groups of up to 30 hippos.

Diet

They eat only plants (herbivore), mostly grasses.

Predators

They fall prey to crocodiles, lions and man.

Reproduction

Females are pregnant (gestation) for about 8 months and have one baby. Calves can nurse underwater and ride on their mother's back as she swims along.

Lifespan and/or Conservation Status

Hippos may live up to 50 years in the wild. They are listed as a "vulnerable" species.

Hippopotamus

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Hippopotamidae
Genus: Hippopotamus
Species: Hippopotamus amphibius

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