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Hippopotamuses: Hippopotamidae

Hippopotamuses And People

Hippos are valued as a food source in Africa. Their teeth provide a high-quality ivory, and their hides are also of value. Hippos are considered one of the most dangerous animals in Africa because they have no fear of humans and are aggressive. They also raid and damage agricultural crops.


  • The common hippo is the second largest living land animal, surpassed only by the Indian rhinoceros.
  • The word "hippopotamus" means "river horse."
  • Unlike other mammals, it is the female hippo who chooses a mate. If a male hippo does not treat her with respect upon approach, she will not choose him!
  • Mother hippos punish their babies by rolling them over with the mothers' heads or even slashing them with mothers' tusk-like teeth.
  • When hippos fight, their goal is to break the front leg of their rival so that it can no longer walk to feed.
  • Hippos use the same trails over and over to travel on their ranges. These trails can become five to six feet deep, literally turning into tunnels.
  • Since hippos are often born underwater, babies can swim the instant they're born.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsHippopotamuses: Hippopotamidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Hippopotamuses And People, Common Hippopotamus (hippopotamus Amphibius): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS