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The name Hippopotamus means "river horse". It is found in West and East Central Africa and it live there in lakes and rivers. It has a round body, short stubby legs and a very large mouth. It is brownish grey in the top and a light pink underneath. There are patches of pink on the face, especially around the eyes, ears and cheeks. The Hippopotamus has its ears,nose and eyes positioned on the top of its head, so it can submerge and still keep track of what is going on around it. The neck is short and thick, with heavy folds of skin. the body is carried on short stocky legs. Each food has four toes with thick nails.
Hippos spend most of the day in the water. But the water must be 150cm deep, so the Hippo can submerge. When it submerge, it close its nostrils and its ears, so water can`t get in. The Hippo can stay under water for about 15 minutes. Hippos move easily in water, either swimming by kicking their hind legs or walking on the bottom. It is strictly a vegetarian. The nightlife begins a few hours after sunset, it comes out of the water to graze and eats from 40kg to 60kg of grass.
The Hippo often travel up to 6 miles from their watering hole to find something to eat.
Hippos live in groups of 15 or more animals. These groups are generally females and their young, headed by a male.
There may also be some inferior males in these groups. The Hippo is very territorial, the males often fight for dominance. They use their canine teeth to fight with. This teeth can be 20 inches long.
During a fight, male hippopotamus will ram each other with these.
Hippos make grunts, growls, screams and other sounds underwater to communicate with each other.
Hippopotamus give birth to one calf after an 8-month gestation period and young are born at any time of year. The baby is born alive and underwater. Its first act is to swim to the surface, so it can breath. The mother helps the newborn to surface, later teaching it to swim. Newly born are very small (35kg). It is protect by their mother. A young hippo can stay under water for about half a minute. It begins to eat grass at 3 weeks, but its mother continues to suckle it for about one year. Newborns often climb on their mothers backs to rest.
cheek Wange / Backe
to rest Rast / Pause
to graze grasen
Als Anhang Fotos:
1. Kämpfende Hippos
2. Hippos in der Gruppe
3. Mutti mit Baby Hippo