What are the characteristic features of hippopoptamuses?


       In a zoo, visitors spend more time watching a hippo! This may be because of the physical features that make it distinctly different from other animals.



       A hippo has a bulky body. After elephants, hippos are regarded as the biggest land animal on Earth! A male hippo typically weighs about 2000 kg! It is 3.5 metres long and 1.5 metres tall too.



      Hippos love spending time in water. One reason for their love for water is to keep themselves cool in the scorching heat of African summers. Rivers and lakes infested with hippos are dangerous places to visit in Africa, as these animals are unpredictable. Their eyes, nose, and ears are located on the top of their head. These features help them stay submerged in water and still breathe and see.



      There is a popular misconception that they sweat blood when out of water.



      However, the truth is that the animals sweat an oily red the animals sweat an oily red liquid, which acts as a sun block, and helps them protect their skin from drying out in the hot sun.



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Which is the family of the Hippopotamus?


       The hippopotamus has no other family members, as they are the only living members of their family, Hippopotamidae.



       There are two living species of hippos: the pygmy hippo, and the common hippo. The pygmy hippos live in the forests of West Africa. Hippos have similarities with pigs, who may be their closest living relatives on earth. They are cetaceans, meaning they live in water, much like a whale or dolphin!



       Hippopotamuses have short, stumpy legs and barrel shaped bodies. Their heads are large. They have a characteristic broad mouth, and nostrils placed at the top of their snouts. A hippo’s stomach has three chambers.



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Is there a grazing pig in the Suidae family?


       Do you remember Pumbaa in the Lion King movie? Pumbaa is a common warthog. We do not generally associate pigs with grazing like cattle. However, the common warthog is pig species that has adapted to grazing. They live in savannah habitats.



       Commonly found in Africa, the warthog has two pairs of tusks curving upwards, which protrude from the mouth. The upper pair is longer and stronger than the lower pair. The lower pair, on the other hand, is very sharp, because of constant rubbing against the upper pair. The species is omnivorous. They live in groups called sounders. These animals are present in numerous protected areas across its range.



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What are the characteristics of a wild boar?


       Unlike many other animals, wild boars do not live in groups or herbs. They prefer to live alone. The solitary males so not territories; and therefore, do not have any qualms in sharing their resources. The females on the other hand, live in mother-daughter groups. It is a common phenomenon in the pig family that the males grow larger than the females. A wild boar can run at a speed of 40 km/h, and jump to a height of 140 to 150 cm.



       The pigs that we have at home are the domesticated variety of the wild boar. These domesticated pigs are the descendants of the wild boars found in Asia, Europe, and North Africa. Man is responsible for furthering their distribution across the globe. The domestic pig is one of the wildest ranging mammals in the world.



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Which is the largest wild member of the pig family?


       There is so much diversity in the pig family. Wild boars have great variety in terms of weight and size. The giant forest hog, as its name suggests, is the largest wild member in the Suidae family.



     The animal is found in more than s dozen countries in Africa. The giant forest hog is 2.1 metres long, and 1.1 metres tall!



       However, the heaviest boar may be the Eurasian wild pig. The animal weighs up to 320 kg. The smallest member of the Suidae family is the pygmy hor. It is only 55 to 71 centimetres long. From hoof to shoulder, the animal is 25 centimetres tall. An adult pygmy hog weighs only about 10 kilograms.



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