Hippopotamus is a large and most herbivorous, semiaquatic mammal and ungated native in a sub Saharan Africa. It is one of the two extant species in the family hippopotamidae. The name hippopotamus come from the ancient Greek for river horse.it is a shy, solitary forest dweller and now endangered.
There are two species, large or common hippo and smaller relative. Apart from elephant and white rhino, the hippos are the largest living land mammals.Desipt of their large and bulk appearance. They have adaptation to their semi-agnatic environment allowing them to move swiftly both on land and water. Their feet have four-webbed toes that splay out to distribute weight evenly and therefore adequately support them on land, and their short legs provide powerful propulsion through the water.
The pygmy hippos digits are more spread out and have less webbing and, proportionally, their legs are longer relative to its body size. They both have skin tones of purple-gray or slate color, with brownish pink coloring around their eyes and ears. They have very thick skin that is virtually hairless except for the thick bristle-like hair on their heads and tails. The outer layers of skin are quite thin, making them prone to wounds from fighting. Their flat, paddle-like tail is used to spread excrement, which marks territory borders and indicates status of an individual. Their powerful jaws are capable of opening up to 150 degrees revealing their enormous incisors.
Both species rely on water or mud to keep cool, this account for the amount of time they spend in the water. Instead of sweating, they secrete a viscous red fluid, which protects the animal’s skin against the sun and possibly acts as healing agents.
They leave the water pool at night to graze for four to five hours, covering up to eight kilometers of terrioty.They will eat about 40 kilogram of food during this time. Their modest appetite is due to its sedentary life, which does not require high outputs of energy. When returning from grazing before dawn, they will enter their water pool at the same spot.
Communities build enclosures, fences, and construct ditches to protect agriculture and farmland from grazing hippos, thereby minimizing human-wildlife conflict.
The hippo’s habitats are protected and strengthened by providing funds and improving infrastructures to the park.