Other Free Encyclopedias » Science Encyclopedia » Science & Philosophy: Heterodyne to Hydrazoic acid

Hippopotamus - The Common Hippo, The Hippo's Teeth And Its Diet, Hippo In Water, Reproduction

hippos africa pygmy toed

The common or river hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) is a huge, even-toed hoofed herbivore that lives in bodies of freshwater in central and southern Africa. A second species, the pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis), lives in water bodies in Western African rainforests. Both species are included in the family Hippopotamidae.

The name hippopotamus means "river horse" but hippos are only distantly related to horses. Horses are odd-toed hoofed animals, while hippos are even-toed in the class Artiodactyla. Hippos have four hoofed toes on each foot. The common hippo has webbing between its toes, while the pygmy hippo has less webbing.

Fossil finds indicate that hippos are formerly found throughout much of Eurasia, but today hippos are found only in the tropical regions of Africa. The common hippo is abundant in the rivers, lakes, and swamps of most of sub-Saharan Africa, while the pygmy hippo is limited to forested areas in West Africa.


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