Lazy and enormous river loungers trend to come to mind when we think about hippos. Usually spotted with their bulky body submerged underwater with only the top of their head peeking out. There is so much more to this species that might surprise you with these quick, fascinating facts!
1. They might come across as harmless but they are extremely aggressive and known as one of the most dangerous animals in the world. When a hippo has an open mouth it is a sign to steer clear! They also grunt and snort as a way of marking their territory.
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Did you know Crocodiles will not mess with baby hippos because they are afraid of mama! Check out the chompers on this hippo I photographed in the San Francisco zoo #hippo #sanfranciscozoo #hungryhippo #hungryhungryhippo #openwide #bigmouth #hippopotamus #zoo #zooanimal #teeth #riverhorse #mammal #animalphotography #animal #nature #nationalhippoday #nationalhippopotamusday #yawn #bigyawn #hippoday
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2. Resurfacing from water to breathe is so automatic that they can even rise to breathe while sleeping and not wake up. A hippo will resurface for air every 3-5 minutes.
3. Hippo calves are able to suckle on land and underwater because they all have the ability to close their ears and nostril to prevent water from entering.
4. They secrete an oily red substance that acts as a moisturiser, sunblock and protects them from germs. This also makes them look like they are sweating blood.
5. To avoid the sun burning their sensitive skin, hippos lounge in the water for most of the day. During the night is when they are most active and scavenge for grass.
6. Their population is decreasing! Sadly, like the rhino, they are being poached for their ivory, hides and meat.