5 fun hippo facts
The hippo is the third largest land mammal on earth. Their closest relatives are whales and dolphins. Here are 5 fun facts about these fascinating animals.
#1 Hippos can't swim
Although hippos spend a lot of their days in water, they can’t really swim. That’s why they’ll look for sandy banks or river bottoms to stand on. They will be found exclusively in shallow waters.
#2 Hippo calves suckle underwater
Like all mammals, hippo calves are dependent on their mother for nourishment. And since hippos are water dwellers, their bodies have evolved some interesting adaptations.
Baby hippo noses can close just like their eyes so that water doesn’t go through and they’re free to suckle milk underwater as well as on land.
#3 Hippos are loud
This animal is not shy about letting the whole world know it’s around. Their calls are strong enough to be heard for up to a mile and they also vocalize underwater, similarly to their distant cousins - the whales!
#4 Hippos produce their own sunscreen
Hippo skin can get sunburnt so, over the eons, they have evolved the ability to secrete their own sunscreen. It’s a form of oily sweat that has a pink hue. This substance will cover their entire bodies to prevent sun damage.
#5 Hippos can stay underwater for five minutes at a time
Hippos can hold their breath a lot longer than other land mammals. If they feel threatened, they sometimes dive underwater for cover for up to five minutes. Once they feel the coast is clear, they will resurface.
Do you like hippos? Have you ever seen a hippo? Do you know any other interesting facts about them?
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