Anti-Caturday: Hungry, hungry hippos.

Hippo Mouth by Alexandra McKenzie
Hippo Mouth by Alexandra McKenzie

So the hippo. I had a dog who was named Hippo because she looked exactly like one when she was tiny. As in fits in two hands tiny. So I maybe should have gotten around to this a long time ago. Hippos are humongous animals with ginormous jaws that still manage to look pretty darn cute. Which kind of interferes with their reputation as one of the most aggressive animals in Africa (they even attack crocodiles ffs!). But you probably knew that already. What you probably didn’t know is that the hippopotamuses’s (try saying THAT five times in a row quickly) closest living relatives are whales and porpoises.

The hippo society is somewhat of a mystery. Only mothers and daughters seem to actually be social but nonetheless huge numbers of hippos gather together to just wallow near each other without apparently hanging out together. Communication happens mostly vocally with grunts and bellows. Perhaps most surprising of all because of their aggressive nature and impressive teeth (seriously, what’s up with that?) they eat mostly only grass. In very rare cases hippos have been seen to eat corpses near the water and sometimes have been known to stoop to cannibalism. But apparently that only happens in the case of severely unhinged hippos.

Hippo by canopic
Hippo by canopic

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