hippopotamus


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hippopotamus,

herbivorous, river-living mammal of tropical Africa. The large hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius, has a short-legged, broad body with a tough gray or brown hide. The male stands about 5 ft (160 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs about 5 tons (4,500 kg); the female is slightly smaller. The mouth is wide, and the incisors and lower canines are large ivory tusks that grow throughout life. The eyes are near the top of the head, so the animal can see when nearly submerged. Hippopotamuses usually live in herds of about 15 animals. Much of their time is spent standing or swimming underwater, where they feed on aquatic plants; they must rise to breathe every 5 minutes or so. At night groups of animals feed on the shore. The hippopotamus is hunted for meat, and Africans have used the hide for shields and whips. Once widespread in Africa, the animal is now rare except in unsettled areas and reserves. The pygmy hippopotamus, Choeropsis liberiensis, is found in W Africa. It is about 30 in. (75 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighs about 400 lb (180 kg). It tends to be solitary and spends much of its time on the shore, sleeping by day in thickets. Recent DNA studies indicate that whales are most closely related to hippopotamuses. Hippopotamuses are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Hippopotamidae.

hippopotamus

[‚hip·ə′päd·ə·məs]
(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for two species of artiodactyl ungulates composing the family Hippopotamidae.

hippopotamus

1. a very large massive gregarious artiodactyl mammal, Hippopotamus amphibius, living in or around the rivers of tropical Africa: family Hippopotamidae. It has short legs and a thick skin sparsely covered with hair
2. pigmy hippopotamus a related but smaller animal, Choeropsis liberiensis
References in periodicals archive ?
The hippopotamus was tranquillised and captured, two bear cubs were found in a park and a crocodile was seen swimming down a street.
The hippopotamus, which is naturally found only in sub-Saharan Africa and within a restricted distribution area, is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of threatened species due to the significant decline in its population in the past three decades.
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Despite being a miniature species of hippopotamus, pygmy hippos can weigh up to 275 kilograms (600 pounds).
The hippopotamus foot and, right, some of the carved ivory ornaments seized from a passenger at Cardiff Airport
LONDON: A treatise on a stuffed hippopotamus, an 18th-century English primer for Danish sailors and a description of the first engine-driven submarine are among 250,000 books to be made available online in a deal between Google and the British Library.
His signature tune was The Hippopotamus Song - often called Mud, Glorious Mud.
This nonfiction story is about a young hippopotamus who frolics in Kenya's Sabaki River with his mother, father, aunts, and cousins.
Patna, Apr 7 (ANI): A hippopotamus at Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park here has given birth to a female calf, raising total count of Hippopotamus in the zoo.
The pupils also studied the adaptation of creatures by looking at the skulls of a tiger and a hippopotamus from the museum's collections.
THREE British scout leaders spoke of the terrifying moment a hippopotamus attacked their canoe in a trip to Africa.
A rare pygmy hippopotamus has been born at a UK zoo.