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Mammal. The hippopotamus, whose name means “river horse,” is a distant relative of the pig. Water is the center of a hippo's life, with hundreds of hippos sharing the same water territory. Since they are born underwater, baby hippos have to swim the moment they are born. Female hippos are known to babysit a group of other females' infants. Although the sweat of a hippo is red and resembles blood, it is actually an oil that keeps the skin moist. Hippos are amblers when they walk, that is, the legs on the same side of the body move together. A hippo's mouth opens 1.2 meters (4 feet) wide.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Hippopotamus amphibious 20-45 years
Herbivore. Short grasses and reeds, aquatic plants.
Predators and Threats
Humans; young hippos are hunted by lions, leopards, hyenas, and wild dogs.
Rivers, lakes, and swamps and national parks of western Uganda and the eastern Congo; west and east central Africa.