Conservation Status




--The eyes, ears, and nostrils of hippos are on top of their head, making it easy for them to hear, see, and breathe while most all of their body is under water.

--Hippos don?t have true sweat glands. Instead, they secrete a thick, red substance from their pores known as blood sweat. This mucous layer protects the hippo?s skin from sunburn, helps keep it moist and potentially acts like an antibiotic.

Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Hippopotamidae
Genus: Hippopotamus
Species: amphibius


Weight: 3,000 to 9,900 pounds with males being larger than females
Length: 11 to 16.5 feet
Height: Up to 5 feet at the shoulder
Life Span: Average 45 years in captivity, less in the wild
Gestation: 8 months
# of young: 1
Range: East Africa, south of the Sahara
Diet: Herbivore, prefers to eat short grasses

Energy & Conservation

The Hippopotamus has been listed as vulnerable because of habitat loss and illegal hunting for meat and ivory (found in the canine teeth). Illegal trade in hippo ivory increased sharply after the international ban on the trade of elephant ivory in 1989.

Hippos are an important part of the ecosystem. At night hippos feed on grass and during the day they go back to the water where they defecate. This provides food for microscopic animals living in the water, which in turn is fed on by larger animals.

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