Two separate species of hippopotamus, the European hippopotamus (H. antiquus) and H. gorgops, ranged throughout continental Europe and the British Isles.
From 7.5 to 1.8 mya, an ancestor to the modern hippopotamus, Archaeopotamus, lived in Africa and the Middle East.
Ever since Obaysch inspired the Hippopotamus Polka, hippos have been popular animals in Western culture for their rotund appearance that many consider comical.
The hippopotamus was known to the Greeks and Romans as the Beast of the Nile.
The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) is semi-aquatic, inhabiting rivers and lakes where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river and groups of 5 to 30 females and young.
The other branch became the anthracotheres, a large family of four-legged beasts, the earliest of whom in the late Eocene would have resembled skinny hippopotamuses with comparatively small and narrow heads.
The Hippopotamidae family includes one other extant genus and member, Hexaprotodon liberiensis, the pygmy hippopotamus (sometimes labeled Choeropsis liberiensis).
Hippopotamuses appear to communicate verbally, through grunts and bellows, and it is thought that they may practice echolocation, but the purpose of these vocalizations is currently unknown.
Studying the interaction of male and female hippopotamuses has long been complicated by the fact that hippos are not sexually dimorphic and thus females and young males are almost indistinguishable in the field.
Hippos have been featured in songs like "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" (which became a hit for child star Gayla Peevey in 1953), "The Hippopotamus" and "Hippo Encore."
Hexaprotodon liberiensis, the pygmy hippopotamus, is limited to West African countries of Liberia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
Hippopotamuses have small legs (relative to other megafauna) because the water in which they live reduces the weight burden.
Hippopotamuses are by nature very aggressive animals, especially when young calves are present.
After becoming pregnant, a female hippopotamus will typically not begin ovulation again for 17 months.
The word "hippopotamus" derives from the ancient Greek ???????????, hippopotamos, from ?????, hippos, "horse", and ???????, potamos, "river", meaning "horse of the river".
Of these, the Cyprus dwarf hippopotamus survived until the end of the Pleistocene or early Holocene.
The Pygmy Hippopotamus belongs to a different genus in Hippopotamidae, either Choeropsis or Hexaprotodon.
The hippopotamus was one of the many exotic animals brought to fight gladiators in Rome by the emperor Philip I the Arab to commemorate Rome's 1000 years anniversary in 248 C.E.
The hippopotamus has been known to historians since classical antiquity.
The Malagasy hippos were smaller than the modern hippopotamus, likely through the process of insular dwarfism.
Hippopotamuses are territorial only in water, where a bull presides over a small stretch of river, on average 250 meters in length, and containing ten females.
Both species were larger than the modern hippopotamus, averaging about 1 meter (3.3 feet) longer.
Note, however, that the range of hippopotamus' sizes overlaps with the range of the white rhinoceros; use of different metrics makes it unclear which is the largest land animal after elephants.
Isolated members of Malagasy hippopotamus may have survived in remote pockets; in 1976, villagers described a living animal called the Kilopilopitsofy, which may have been a Malagasy Hippopotamus.
Today, large populations of Hippopotamus amphibius only occur in the Nile River Valley of East Africa.
In Ancient Egyptian Religion, the hippopotamus-headed Tawaret was a goddess of protection in pregnancy and childbirth, because ancient Egyptians recognized the protective nature of a female hippopotamus toward her young.
The Disney film Fantasia featured a ballerina hippopotamus dancing to the opera, La Gioconda.
Hippopotamuses are the fourth largest mammals by weight in the world (after whales, elephants, and rhinoceroses).
A male hippopotamus is known as a bull, a female as a cow and a baby as a calf.
Hippopotamuses are gregarious, living in groups of up to 30 animals; such a group is called a pod, herd, dale or bloat.
More than one hippopotamus are called hippopotami, and 'hippopotamuses', or 'hippos' is also used. ... About 30 hippos live together in groups. A male hippopotamus is known as a bull. A female hippopotamus is called a cow, and a baby hippo is called a calf.
So, "hippopotamus" means "horse of the river". More than one hippopotamus are called hippopotami, and 'hippopotamuses', or 'hippos' is also used. ... A male hippopotamus is known as a bull. A female hippopotamus is called a cow, and a baby hippo is called a calf.
Diet. Hippos graze on land; they do not eat while in the water and aren't known to graze on aquatic plants. They prefer short, creeping grass and small green shoots and reeds.
Hippos have (albeit rarely) been filmed eating carrion, usually close to the water. There are other reports of meat-eating, and even cannibalism and predation. The stomach anatomy of a hippo is not suited to carnivory, and meat-eating is likely caused by aberrant behaviour or nutritional stress.