What kind of animal is a hippo? Explaining the characteristics, ecology, and habitat


We will explain the characteristics, ecology, and habitat of hippos. Hippos are the second largest land animal after elephants. Their eyes, ears, and nostrils are located on the upper side of their faces, allowing them to breathe even when their bodies are underwater by exposing only their eyes and noses to the surface. This is a popular animal at zoos, so I would like to introduce it to you.

What is hippo? About basic status

Hippopotamus is an animal of the genus Hippopotamus, belonging to the mammalian class Cetacea, artiodactyla, and family Hippopotamus.The scientific name is Hippopotamus amphibius. The body length is 3.5 – 4m and the weight is 1,500kg. Below is the basic information.

scientific name(学名)Hippopotamus amphibius
classification(分類)Mammalia、 Cetartiodactyla、Hippopotamidae、Hippopotamus
Length(体長)3.5 – 4m

About classification

Hippos are the only extant species of the hippopotamus family. Some scholars classify hippos and anthracozoans into the superfamily Anthracidae. There are five subspecies of hippo:

  • H. a. amphibius
  • H. a. kiboko
  • H. a. capensis
  • H. a. tschadensis
  • H. a. constrictus 

H. a. amphibius

The species ranged from Gambia east to Ethiopia and south to Mozambique and as far as Egypt. Its main features are its raised back and elongated lower jaw.。

H. a. kiboko

A tribe that lives in Kenya and Somalia. It is smaller than other hippos, has a lighter color, has wider nostrils, and has slightly longer nostrils, giving it a distinct character.

H. a. capensis

A subspecies that lives in Zambia and South Africa.

H. a. tschadensis

A subspecies that lives in Chad and Niger. Its main characteristic is its wide face.

H. a. constrictus 

It is distributed from the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo to Angola and Namibia. Its main characteristics are a short snout and a flatter back.

About hippo habitat

Hippos are widely distributed in Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. They are often seen at zoos, and there are many information on opening events. Once you enter the park, it will be on display until night.

feature is? What kind of creature is it?

Hippos have their eyes, ears, and nostrils on the top of their faces, so even when their bodies are underwater, they can breathe by only exposing their eyes and noses to the surface. The head is large, with the nose, eyes, and auricles lined up in a straight line on the side of the face. Their bodies are gray or grey-brown in color, with almost no fur, and their canine teeth continue to grow throughout their lives. Hippos often live near bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and swamps, and spend most of the day underwater. Hippos live in groups of 10 to 20 females and their young.

What will your personality look like?

Hippos are timid but very curious. Females are more docile and cautious than males. They also have a strong sense of territory.

What is the ecology of hippos?

Hippos live on land by foraging on grasses, shoots, stems, and bark. They eat a lot, about 40 to 50 kg a day. Breeding is polygamous and breeds throughout the year. Most births occur between October and April. The gestation period is eight months, and a female can give birth to one calf. The lifespan is said to be 40 to 60 years.

What are the natural enemies of hippos?

Hippos have natural enemies called lions. However, in order to escape from a lion, there is a way to escape into the water, and in most cases it is possible to survive this.

Are hippos an endangered species?

Hippos are listed as an endangered species. Furthermore, it is listed in Appendix II of the Washington Convention and there are restrictions on trade. There are several reasons why this happens:

Habitat development or destruction

Habitat development and destruction is progressing, and it is becoming difficult for hippos to live in places where they could originally live. The population is decreasing and there is no prospect of recovery.

very aggressive personality

The extremely aggressive nature of hippos is a scourge. There have also been incidents where passengers have been injured by animals, or where animals have attacked the board. There have been cases of people dying as a result of this.

Can hippos be kept?

Hippos are designated as an endangered species and listed in the Washington Convention, so keeping them in captivity is difficult. Due to their aggressive nature, they are not recommended for the general public.


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