COOL HIPPO FACTS TEXT and a cartoon hippo

17 Cool Facts About Hippos That You Must Know!

Hippos are some of the most exciting animals in the world. They have some unique features that make them stand out from other animals. 

Here are some cool facts about hippos that will amaze you!

1. Hippos Team Up to Stay Safe

An image showing a group of hippos in the water, highlighting their social behavior and the way they protect each other.
Hippos Live In Groups

Hippos live in groups to protect each other and their babies from being attacked by lions, crocodiles, and hyenas. However, these animals can’t take down a hippo one on one. But if they work together, they can easily win against a single hippo. When hippos are in a group, they can also work together to fight off the threats.

2. Special Ears Help Hippos Stay Dry

Close up of hippo ears,  to showcase their watertight adaptation
Small Watertight Hippo Ears

The hippopotamus has small ears because they are a watertight adaptation. They can close their ears with the help of their ear lobes when they are underwater. These small ears also help them to avoid water-related infections.

3. Big Teeth for Peace and Protection

Close-up image of a hippo's mouth, emphasizing their large teeth and discussing their function in fighting and defense.
Hippos Have Large Teeth

Even though hippos are vegetarians, they possess large teeth so that they can use them for fighting. Hippos will use their sharp and long incisors to fight against each other and fight off any threat, including humans and other animals.

4. What Hippos Eat and How Much

A hippo looking happy surrounded by their favorite foods: plant roots, grass and ferns
A Hippos Diet

Hippos are herbivores. They mainly eat leaves, grass, fruits, ferns and roots of plants. Hippos can eat about 80 pounds of vegetation each night and travel up to 6 miles to find food.

5. Hippos Stay Cool in Day’s Heat

Hippos hiding from sun in the river waiting for night time
Hippos come alive at night

Hippos do not generally come out of the water during the daytime, as the harsh sun rays can quickly dry out their sensitive skin. The hippos mostly come out of the water only after sunset for nighttime grazing.

6. Hippos and Their Helpful Friends

Since hippos can’t reach every corner of their massive body, many parasites and ticks cause health problems. The birds sitting on the hippos are plucking parasites, ticks, ear wax and dead skin off their back.

7. Night Adventures of Hungry Hippos

A visual representation of a hippo grazing at night to find food, showcasing their nocturnal habits.
Nighttime Grazing

Hippos eat leaves, grass, fruits, ferns and roots. Hippos can eat about 80 pounds of food each night. They can walk up to 6 miles at night when they want food.

8. Hippos: Surprising Danger of Nature

Two images of hippos being angry, showing teeth mouth very wide
Threat To Humans

Hippos are the most deadly animal on Earth. They can kill people. More people get killed by hippos than any other animal every year.

9. Why Hippos Yawn and Show Teeth

Capturing the Fearsome Essence: A Wide-Open Hippo's Yawn Exhibiting its Menacing Teeth
Hippo Teeth

Hippos yawn because they are feeling threatened. They warn other animals that they should not come any closer because it is their territory by showing their teeth.

10. Lethal Temper that Even Deter Crocodiles

Crocodiles and hippos among each other
Even Croc’s Don’t Mess With Hippos

Hippos are huge and intimidating. Also, hippos are highly aggressive and can kill an adult crocodile in minutes. Crocodiles do not attack hippopotamuses because they are afraid of these massive animals.

11. Nature’s Sunscreen: A Red Hue from the Hippo’s Skin

The hippopotamus’s skin secretes a natural sunscreen with a red colour. Even though the colour of the secretion is red, it is not blood.

12. The Curious Case of Pink Hippo Milk

Hippo milk is pink because it mixes with the sweat of a hippo. That makes the milk pink when it is exposed to oxygen.

13. Hippos: Poop as Territory Markers

By nature, hippos are very territorial. Male hippos spray poop to mark their territory and impress the female hippopotamuses. The dominant male hippos create an area for themselves in water bodies of rivers or lakes by using their poop. It helps the other males avoid invading the dominant male territory. It also helps the female hippo find a dominant male’s territory.

14. Hippos: Also Known as Water Horses

Hippos are also known as river horses or water horses.

15. Hippos’ Surprising Relationship with Water

Hippos can’t swim in the water. Even though they love water and spend most of their time submerged in it, hippos cannot swim traditionally. Hippos can stay underwater for 5 minutes at a time but cannot move around underwater unless they walk on the water floor.

Hippos submerged in water near to the river bed
Hippos Can Hold Their Breath For 5 Minutes!

16. The Unpredictable Nature of Hippos

Charging hippos
Hippos Charge First Think Later

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.

17. Hippos’ Surprising Animal Relatives

A pig, whale and a dolphin
Distant Relatives

Hippos are not related to elephants. However, they share some distant relatives with these animals: pigs, whales and dolphins!

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Teresa Milne

Teresa is learning zoology and loves to share her knowledge through her articles. She is also a avid binge watcher of wild animal documentary's. Teresa has some pets that she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster. She has also studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition.