How much does a hippopotamus weigh? At birth, an adult
This huge animal seems at first sightextremely awkward. However, anyone who has seen a hippopotamus in the water will deny this assumption. Despite how much the behemoth weighs, in water it becomes very graceful, fast and even beautiful. What is this animal, where does it live and what are its habits? The answers to these questions can be found below.
The name of the animal came from twoAncient Greek words: horse and river. It is easy to understand that you can call it a riverhorse. However, nothing to do with horses in a hippopotamus. As with pigs, with which they are often compared. Surprisingly, his closest relative is a whale.
Long ago, about 60 million years ago,the planet was inhabited by the great-grandparents of modern animals. At some point, some of them remained on land, some of them were submerged in water. It happened about 55 million years ago. Despite the fact that the hippopotamus chose the land, life without water is unthinkable for them, and it is necessary not only to quench their thirst.
In general, this mammal belongs to the detachmentcloven-hoofed and belongs to the family of hippos. Among land animals, it is the second largest mass after elephants. Males reach from 3.2 to 4.2 meters in length. How much weight does a hippopotamus with such a body? About 1,5-3,2 tons. Female smaller - in length grow to 2.7 meters, while they weigh only up to 2.5 tons.
In addition to the average, there is a record weighthippopotamus. The maximum, known to man, is 4 tons. This male is a real giant. The skin of the animal is very thick, up to 5 centimeters. She is going to thick folds around the neck and chest. The hippopotamus body is squat, the huge jaw has a deep cut. Newborn hippos are pink, whereas adults are already grayish-brown. There is no hair on the skin.
Grow in height hippos up to one and a half meters. By maturity, large specimens can reach 165 centimeters. The tail is of the order of 50-55 cm. Despite how much the hippopotamus weighs, it runs fast enough - it can reach speeds of up to 30 km / h. Unfortunately, its dimensions do not allow to make marathons, but the distance of 5-6 hundred meters with this speed is quite affordable.
The structure of the hippopotamus body is unique, it is created forlong stay in water. Eyes, ears and nostrils are located high to stay on the surface even when the whole animal is immersed in liquid. This gives the hippopotamus an opportunity to survey the surroundings while avoiding sunburn.
The jaws open at an angle of 150 degrees. In the open mouth, the teeth of the animal are perfectly visible. The height of the canines is of the order of 50 centimeters, the incisors ascend from the gums only by 30 centimeters. The upper incisors are short, while the fangs continue to grow throughout the life of the animal. Each of these colossal teeth weighs up to three kilograms. Milky teeth are replaced by a constant about a year.
It is interesting that hippos can not live without water - their skin dries up and becomes covered with painful cracks. That's why the giants try to spend as much time as possible in the water.
Actually, given how much the hippopotamus weighs,we can say that he has no natural enemies. Even a hungry crocodile will not attack a hippopotamus, although the cause of this is unknown - a large alligator could well cope with a teenage behemoth.
The nature of the hippopotamus is very aggressive. There are often cases when they attacked a man - they broke up or overturned the boat. Despite all this, the number of species decreases. Only in the last 15 years and Africa has become 10% fewer of these animals. At present, there are about 150 thousand hippos.
Despite state prohibitions, the animalcontinue to shoot in our days. There are two reasons for this. First, the aborigines believe that this is a harmful and unnecessary animal, which is a danger to humans. Secondly, he has tasty and very nutritious meat. Primarily due to these reasons hippopotamus becomes less and less every day.
Back in the beginning of the last century these animalsalmost throughout Africa: from the mouth of the Nile to Cape Town. Today, it is not often possible to see a hippopotamus in the eastern or central part of the continent. However, even these meetings most often occur in national parks guarding this species of mammals.
During the day, animals sleep in the water. Search for food, they begin with the arrival of darkness. They return to the pond before the dawn. Each hippopotamus has a personal path through which it gets to the pasture. Weight hippopotamus, an average of 3 tons, is recruited through nutrient grass and aquatic plants.
Lifespan and reproduction
Average life expectancy of the hippopotamus -40-50 years. When kept in zoos, they can survive to 60 years. Tanga lived longer than other relatives - she spent 61 years at the Munich zoo. Currently, America has an aged Donna Hippo, whose age is 60 years.
Sexual maturity occurs in females by the age of five. They can bring up to 55 children. The males reach sexual maturity by 7-8 years. Fattenling lasts 8 months. The next conception is possible only after 18 months. Mating animals under water. There is also the appearance of a small hippopotamus. Weight at birth is only 25 to 45 kg. A baby is about 100 cm long and 50 cm high.
Barely born, the baby pops up onsurface and breathes in air. On land, births occur rarely, females are prepared for them in advance, trampling down the ground in the supposed "maternity ward". Most often, one child appears in the light, twins are extremely rare. The cubs feed on mother's milk for about a year, from which the weight of the hippo grows very quickly, because the milk has a high fat content. Plunging into the water for feeding, the kids close their nostrils and press their ears tightly to the head to avoid water ingress.
In search of food, animals can move away fromreservoirs for a distance of up to 8 kilometers. On the pasture have to spend at least 4-5 hours to maintain the giant weight of the hippopotamus. Adult hippopotamus can consume about 70 kg of vegetation per day. In rare cases, they can eat carrion, but this happens only in conditions of food shortage.
The width of the trenches along which the animals make their way topasture, is equal to its thickness. Behemoths are very zealously guarding their territory, divide even the water spaces. The main male has a stretch of shore, reaching up to 250 meters in length. With him live up to 15 females, along with the cubs of the last year. The grown-up males form their own groups.
Impact on the environment
Although Aborigines do not see the benefits in these animals,they have a significant impact on the environment of water bodies and even on the lives of people inhabiting this area. It has long been proven that phytoplankton is actively multiplying in water bodies in which hippos live, which increases the biological productivity of living beings. That is, the more hippos in the lake, and the more lakes in the district, the more the accompanying animals, such as fish, can be found here. And the more this living creature, the more and more diverse the food of people living next to each other.
In addition to the usual hippo, there is alsopygmy hippopotamus. This animal weighs only up to 275 kg with an increase of 75-85 cm. Its length thus reaches 150 cm. Such an animal can live in captivity up to 55 years, whereas in the wild not all live up to 30. The habitat is a moor and wooded terrain of the west of Africa. Ears, nostrils and eyes do not so much protrude on the head as in the case of huge brothers. The legs are noticeably longer relative to the body. The skin is dark green or brown. Dwarfs spend much less time in the water. This subspecies has only about three thousand individuals.</ p>>