Hippos are certainly dangerous animals. They have a naturally aggressive character. Hippos will attack if they think someone is a threat, even if there’s no reason to. Males have the most violent nature, while females are not as bad unless they have young children to protect nearby. Hippos do not trust anyone and let no one stand in their way.
- Bite force: a whopping 2000-2500 lbs (12 600 kPa)
- Size: Measure up to 4.5 m (15 ft) long.
- Power: Extreme
- Weight: Can weigh up to 3,500 kg (7,700 lbs)
- Speed: Up to 30 km/h (19 mph)
The hippopotamus, or hippo for short, are large, semi-aquatic mammal native to sub-Saharan Africa. They spend most of their time in rivers and lakes where they eat grasses and other plants. They also like to cool off by taking mud baths! There are two species of hippo – the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) and the pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis). Both can grow to 4m long and weigh up to 8000 pounds!
The common hippo has an enormous mouth that can open 180 degrees wide – big enough for a small child or adult human to fit inside! And it’s not just their size that makes them unique; these animals also have some pretty impressive features. Their skin secretes red blood cells, which helps protect them from sunburn when they bask on the water’s surface at midday.
Both male and female adult common hippos have canine teeth as long as 30cm! These tusks are used for fighting and help with feeding because they act like shovels moving dirt away so the animal can get tasty foods underneath.
How fast can hippos run?
Hippos aren’t as slow as you think, and they can run quite fast, considering their bodies look almost chubby with tiny legs. When on land running, a hippo can reach speeds of up to 30 km/h (19 mph).
Do hippos attack people?
Yes, hippos attack people if they feel threatened in any way, shape or form. A hippo will not hold back and could bite a human in half with its tremendous bite force.
Bite Force Examples
As you can see below, the bite force of a Hippo is powerful. The only animal beating them is a Crocodile known for its massive jaws and snap-like bite.
|Animal||Bite Force (lbs)|
Do hippos eat people?
Hippos are dangerous mammals and are known to kill people. They are also known to eat meat and vegetation. But most of the time, hippos prefer to eat vegetation such as grass, leaves and fruit, much more than meat.
With no known stories/news on any hippos eating humans, It’s hard to imagine that they would. However, no doubt there is a strong possibility a hungry hippo will eat a human if no other food is around.
Why are hippos so dangerous?
Hippos are dangerous due to their size, natural threat perception, and territorial instincts. The damage they can inflict on other animals and humans makes them one of the most dangerous mammals on the planet.
What is more dangerous, a hippo or a rhino?
Hippos are more dangerous than rhinos. This is because they are more territorial and more suspicious than a rhino. Rhinos prefer a quiet life, making them slightly less aggressive.
Who will win in a fight between a hippo and a rhino?
If a rhino and a hippo came face to face in combat, a hippo would win hands down due to their powerful bite. Even though a rhino has an explosive charge with a deadly horn for protection, a hippo will still win in close contact combat.
Predators of the Hippos
|Nile Crocodiles||Nile crocodiles are the largest predators of hippos. They are ambush predators and can grow up to 20 feet in length. They have powerful jaws and sharp teeth that can easily crush a hippo’s bones.|
|Lions||Lions are the second largest predators of hippos. They are ambush predators and can take down a hippo if they work together. They have sharp claws and powerful jaws that can easily crush a hippo’s bones.|
|Hyenas||Hyenas are scavengers and opportunistic predators of hippos. They are not strong enough to take down a hippo alone, but they can take advantage of a weakened or injured hippo.|
|Leopards||Leopards are ambush predators of hippos. They are not strong enough to take down a hippo alone, but they can take advantage of a weakened or injured hippo. They have sharp claws and powerful jaws that can easily crush a hippo’s bones.|
|African Wild Dogs||African wild dogs are pack hunters and opportunistic predators of hippos. They are not strong enough to take down a hippo alone, but they can take advantage of a weakened or injured hippo.|
Humans Are the Biggest Threat
The biggest threat to hippos is habitat loss and poaching from humans
What to do if you see a hippo?
If you see a hippo from a distance, do not head in the same direction.
You need to run if you are close to a hippo on land. Running in a zig-zag may help. But your best bet is running as fast as possible and taking cover somewhere.
If in water, swim your fastest and get out and still carry on running when on land. Because you need to remember hippos are both water and land mammals.
If you’re on a boat, banging on the vessel’s side may come in handy, especially if the hippo has already decided you’re a threat.
If they haven’t suspected you as a threat, keep the boat moving and quietly continue on your path.
However, let’s hope you never come face-to-face with a hippo!