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Hungry Hungry Hippos
Photo Credit: Gorazd Golob
Kafue River, Zambia
The Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), or Hippo, from the ancient Greek word for “river horse”, is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae (the other is the Pygmy Hippopotamus). After the elephant and rhinoceros, the hippopotamus is the third largest land mammal in the world.
The hippopotamus is semi-aquatic, inhabiting rivers, lakes and mangrove swamps, where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river and groups of 5 to 30 females and young; reproduction and childbirth both occur in water. During the day they remain cool by staying in the water or mud, and they emerge at dusk to graze on grass. Despite their physical resemblance to pigs and other terrestrial even-toed ungulates, their closest living relatives are cetaceans(whales, porpoises, etc.) from which they diverged about 55 million years ago.
The hippopotamus is recognizable by its barrel-shaped torso, enormous mouth and teeth, nearly hairless body, stubby legs and tremendous size. The hippopotamus is one of the largest quadrupeds (four legged mammals) on earth, but despite its stocky shape and short legs, it can easily outrun a human. Hippos have been clocked at 30 km/h (19 mph) over short distances. The hippopotamus is one of the most aggressive creatures in the world and is often regarded as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. They are threatened every day by habitat loss and poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth.
To share your wildlife photos with the Bush Warriors community, go to our Photo of the Day Contest Facebook page and upload your shots today! All you need to do is upload them onto the wall. Please do not create new albums, but rather upload each photo on its own. Click here to view ALL of our Photo of the Day winners and for more information on the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day Contest. Enjoy the beauty of nature, just as it was intended to be!
The Bush Warriors Photo of The Day Contest is brought to you in partnership with Creative Visions Foundation. Inspired by the life of Dan Eldon, a young Reuters photojournalist killed in Somalia in 1993, Creative Visions Foundation supports “Creative Activists” who use media and the arts to create positive change in the world.
Vote for your favorite photo each week. The Bush Warriors Photo of The Week winner will go on to compete for the Bush Warriors Photo of the Month, and a chance to win a signed copy of Dan Eldon: Safari As a Way of Life of life.