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 ?
In 1953, the then 10-year-old Peevey sang the novelty hit, "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas.
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In ancient times, the ivory was taken from the extinct mammoths that have huge tusks with milky color, yet the ivory taken from the tusks of the hippopotamus is the hardest among all types of ivory.
A comparative behavioral study was carried out on Nile hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) after pairing in Lahore zoo from March 2008 to July 2008.
After a lengthy contest, the elephant and hippopotamus realize they've been duped and are competing against each other.
Winner of a Mom's Choice Award, There's a Hippopotamus in My Bed and An Elephant Wants to Wear My Favorite Red Shoes is a gentle children's picturebook about a little girl who dreams of growing up to be a zookeeper.
Al Ain: Al Ain Zoo is celebrating the birth of two newborns, a hippopotamus and a giraffe calf, and expects them to be a special attraction for visitors during the Eid holidays.
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