Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation
World Hippo Day
World Hippo Day
World Hippo Day on February 15 celebrates the extraordinary hippopotamus and encourages people to take action to prevent its vulnerable status.World Hippo Day reminds us to celebrate and value these mud-loving mammals.
Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), also called hippo or water horse, amphibious African ungulate mammal, considered to be the third largest land mammal. The hippopotamus has a bulky, barrel shape body on stumpy legs, an enormous head, a short tail, and four toes.Each toe has a nail-like hoof. The skin is 5 cm thick on the flanks but thinner elsewhere and nearly hairless.Skin colour is grayish brown, with pinkish underparts. Hippos secrete a reddish oily fluid sometimes called “blood sweat” from special glands in their skin. But the fluid is not sweat. This fluid functions as a skin moisturizer, water repellent and antibiotic. It appears red when exposed to full sunlight. ” Hippos mostly try to avoid direct sunlight by lying in water during the day and feeding at night. Their skin is very sensitive to both drying and sunburn, so the secretion acts like an automatic skin ointment. It also protects the skin from becoming waterlogged when a hippo is in the water. The mouth is half a metre wide and can gape 150° to show the teeth. The lower canines are sharp and may exceed 30 cm and they are offensive weapons.
Hippos are well adapted to aquatic life. The ears, eyes, and nostrils are located high on the head so that the rest of the body may remain submerged.The hippo nostril is a crescent shaped opening with lateral and medial aspects that are mobile and can be adducted and abducted to regulate the nostril opening.Hippos cannot swim in water but they can slowly walk in water and can walk at a speed of 4.97 mph underwater. Despite this, they can stay underwater for at least five minutes and return to the water surface for breathing.
Hippopotamuses are often seen basking on the banks or sleeping in the waters of rivers, lakes, and swamps next to grasslands. As many as 150 hippos may use one pool in the dry season.A hippopotamus defends its territory and this animal can be very aggressive in order to save itself as well as the females and males of the group. Hippos are primarily herbivorous, meaning they eat only plants, but they have been observed to engage in omnivorous behavior.
– Source: Internet –