Information about: Hippopotamus

Index | Hippopotamus

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Hippopotamus, or River Horse. A genus of animals nearly allied to the pigs, hogs, and peccaries, and belonging to the class Ungulata. The group is represented by only two living species, the Hippopotamus amphibius and Hippopotamus liberiensis, both of Africa. Of these the Hippopotamus amphibius is the larger. It is enormously bulky and unwieldly, attaining a height of five feet, a length of as much as twelve feet, and a weight of four tons. The feet are massive, and are terminated by four hoofed toes; the skin is very thick and strong. The hippopotamus feeds entirely upon vegetable substances, such as grasses and shrubs; it dives and swims with great facility.