Saturday, 8 November 2014

SATURDAY CRITTERS - Hippopotamus

Last Saturday I showed you Elephants which turned out to be a very popular post, however this Saturday it is the turn of the Hippopotamus.  I am sure most of you know all about the Hippopotamus however I will give you some facts that perhaps not all of you will know and at the end of this post, I will tell you a personal story.

The name Hippopotamus comes from the Ancient Greek ‘river horse’.


Hippos bask on the shoreline and secrete an oily red substance, which gave rise to the myth that they sweat blood. The liquid is actually a skin moistener and sunblock that may also provide protection against germs.


An adult Hippo needs to resurface every 3 – 5mins to breathe. The process of surfacing and breathing is automatic, and even a hippo sleeping underwater will rise and breathe without waking.


They are only territorial while in the water. Both reproduction and birth occur in the water. Hippo calves weigh approximately 45kg at birth and can suckle on land or underwater by closing their ears and nostrils. Each female has only one calf every two years. Soon after birth, mother and young join schools that provide some protection against crocodiles, lions, and hyenas.


Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it can easily outrun most humans. Hippos have been clocked at 30 km/h over short distances.


Hippos will travel on land for up to 10km to feed. They spend four to five hours grazing and can consume 68 kg of grass each night. Considering their enormous size, a hippo's food intake is relatively low.




The hippopotamus is one of the most aggressive creatures in the world and is often regarded as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. However, if threatened on land it will often run for water.





Their closest living relatives are cetaceans (whales, porpoises, etc.) 




A group of hippos in known as a ‘herd’, ‘pod’, ‘dale’ or ‘bloat’.


Hippos typically live for around 45 years.


The IUCN classified the Hippo as having vulnerable status in 2008. The population is in decline; declining most dramatically in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Now for my promised story.

 I worked in the French Republic of Congo in 1990 as a Nurse/ Doctor and sometimes we would go out to the villages to do children's inoculations and one time we had to cross a river.   We had to use a dug out tree with no seats so we had to hunker down making sure our equipment and us would not over balance.  Half way over, the nurse who was with me who did not speak perfect English informed me that this river was very dangerous due to the ‘horse like’ animals that could upend the canoe!!  She could not find the right word for the animal and I could not work it out as I was trying to keep my balance and not end up in the river!  

Only when we got over to the other side, did I realise the animal was Hippopotamus!!  Oh dear!  I was more scared coming back and was informed that recently a Hippo had indeed overturned a canoe and a man lost his life. I was VERY relieved to make the return journey in one piece!!  

Now for a short video.  CLICK HERE if it is not below.



Thank you for your visit and I hope you enjoyed this post.

Many thanks for all your lovely comments and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

34 comments:

  1. What awesome photo's. So lucky to see them in the wild.

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  2. Fantastic pictures Margaret. I love the idea of a Bloat of Hippos! Very scary story at the end too- glad you made it there and back in one piece :o)

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  3. Hello Margaret, awesome post. The hippo is one of my favorite animals at the zoo. I can only imagine what it would be like to see these animals in the wild. I enjoyed your story too. Cool photos and video.. Thank you so much for linking up! Have a happy weekend!

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  4. Fascinating, Margaret! I'd hate to have one of those things chasing me. Good thing they didn't tip your canoe--what an experience!

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  5. Great pictures Margaret. I saw hippos in Kenya, Africa many years ago and they are truly awesome animals which have to be treated with respect. I believe one or more caused trouble at Lake Naivasha about the time we visited there.

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  6. Hi Margaret, that was a cool video. Lots of interesting facts about the Hippo. I never realized they could out run me in a 10K..........LOL

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  7. Fabulous photos Margaret...I especially liked the picture of the hippo 'peeking' through the tall grasses.

    And, yes, the photos of the birds on my post today were taken through a window with screen.

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  8. Well that story sounds nerve-wracking for sure!

    I enjoy them at the zoo...being close to them in the wild would be another story :)

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  9. Super photos Margaret and lovely to see hippos in the wild. A really interesting post and I am glad you survived the river crossing - sounds a trifle scary to me!!!

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  10. truly remarkable animals. so unique. only a rhino, perhaps, resembles their build but not their habits.

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  11. From the looks of them you wouldn't know they were so dangerous. You got some incredible images there.

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  12. Gorgeous photos of the hippos and wonderful information ~ and delightful anecdote at the end ~ Glad your were safe!

    Happy Weekend to you,
    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

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  13. Oh gosh, not sure what happened to my comment. Here goes again. I've always wondered about the meaning to their name. You always capture the most unique views with your lens, it's so enjoyable to see your world.

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  14. Brilliant photo of the hippo Margaret. These animals have always amazed me. I don't think I would like to be in the river with them though.

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  15. Nice photos and great info about hippos. One of my coworkers went to Africa and their jeep was attacked by an angry hippo. He got a video of the entire thing. Scary!

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  16. Their closest living relatives are cetaceans (whales, porpoises, etc.)

    Amazing! Wonderful pics, too.
    ~

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  17. How incredible to see them in the wild. Jealous thoughts...

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  18. Why is it Margaret that every time I see a Hippo, I think of 'Reggie Perrin's" Mother in law.{:))

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  19. This was a scary boat trip for sure! The only thing worse would have been crocs! I had thought hippos would charge you on dry land, so that is not so? Forty five years is a long time for an animal to live! I found it fascinating that they will do the rising up and down while under water without even waking!

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  20. I have been trying all day to comment on your posts. For whatever reason, I can't seen to get a comment to go through. I have tried from my pic, my iPad and my iPhone. I did really enjoy this entry!!

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  21. So that finally went through!! I do not want you to think I am not responding to your comments but I always have trouble on your blog!!

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  22. Great pictures of these wonderful creatures !
    Have a nice weekend :)

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  23. Interesting animals. I loved the video. Crossing the river sounds like dangerous business. Enjoy your weekend.

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  24. Welcome to Margaret.
    Another very interesting post.
    Thank you for all the messages and beautiful pictures.
    Greetings.

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  25. Great post full of wonderful captures and interesting facts. The hippos are really awesome creatures.

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  26. I really enjoyed this post! What an exciting life you have led, once working in Africa. It's so great that you've been able to get back and take such wonderful photos. I did learn some things about the hippos!

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  27. so good to see the hippos. I have not seen any for many years. Thanks!

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  28. Enjoyed reading all the facts about the hippos and the exciting story. I would be so scare to have to cross that river again. Very interesting that the babies can be feed underwater! Wonderful pictures.

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  29. Hippo's are very interesting. Thanks for sharing your info. I did not know they secreted an oily red substance.
    the video is wonderful too.

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  30. Wonderful images, video and great post on hippos!

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  31. Love the Hippos. Aren't they amazing and funny creatures. MB

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  32. Wonderful hippo pictures,best I've ever seen. But they are topped by your amazing memory. What a story! You have had the most amazing life. No wonder your daughter and sil are comfortable on their African adventure.

    I loved your whale pictures in the post above as well.

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  33. Fascinating read about the Hippo and awesome photos. I learned a few things today that I did not know about this animal.

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