April 22, 2022


Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Castro podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge

This podcast episode we talk about the Hippopotamus! Relax, unwind, and join me in the rivers, where we learn all about one of the most dangerous and fascinating creatures in Africa.


To contact Stef Wolfe, follow relaxwithanimalfacts on Instagram, e-mail relaxwithanimalfacts@gmail.com, or contact the show via the website relaxwithanimalfacts.com


To go straight to the facts; they start at 9:15


If you would like to learn more, the resources used in this episode are listed below:


Support the Patreon by clickinghere.Rock some awesome podcast-themed merch by clicking here.


If you would like to listen to a full audio course available on listenable.io about animals and their amazing abilities written and narrated by Stefan Wolfe, please click this linkand use coupon code "stefanwolfe" at checkout for a free 7-day trial.

Thanks for listening, please visit relaxwithanimalfacts.com for everything to do with the podcast!


See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


hello everyone welcome back to relax with animal facts I am Steph wolf and today I am going to be learning with you about our furry scaly or possibly even slimy friends and in today's case it is definitely going to be more of a supply me friend of ours because we are covering the oh so wonderful hippopotamus now while slimy is definitely not the greatest adjective to use to describe the hippopotamus I don't know exactly what word would be best but they're definitely not furry and they're definitely not scaly regardless this episode is a very very special listener episode I could have said the word very four times instead of two because this episode is not dedicated to one not dedicated to two or even three of you guys out there but rather to a total of four of you many of you have written in to learn about the hippopotamus and that would mean that this is a special podcast episode dedicated to Emma two M. J. two Kirsty and lastly to eva thank you guys so much for this wonderful animal suggestion I had so much fun learning about them and I hope that that will be reflected in this podcast episode and so if it wasn't for you guys writing in Emma M. J. Kirsty eva for the hippopotamus this episode would not have been possible for those of you that wish to write into the show so that you can hear about and learn about a particular animal that you think is super cool and super interesting and you want to have your very own podcast episode make sure to write in in one of four ways the first way and the most pop either way is to write into the Instagram handle at relax with animal facts the second way is that you can send an email directly to relax with animal facts at G. mail dot com the third way is that you can request an animal with our brand new website by going to relax with animal facts dot com and then going over to the animal requests section and you can send your request that way the fourth way which has yet to be redeemed is by carrier pigeon on the carrier pigeon episode we covered how to train them though I don't particularly remember how long it takes to train them so if anyone out there is training their carrier pigeon to be the first to request an animal that way kudos to you and I wish you the absolute best in the training of your little pigeon if you love the podcast and wish to learn more and go deeper into each animal that we cover on the podcast every week we do exclusive continuation episodes over at the pay tree on page relax with animal facts all the links and everything are on the website or in the description of the show there is also going to be an exclusive audio version of the blog which is posted each week at relax with animal facts dot com the most recent one I wrote about why etymology is important so for those of you that want to know exactly why do we cover the name of the animal at the end of each podcast episode that a blog post is going to explain exactly why I think it is so cool and so important the tears on the patriarch for those bonus episodes are all exactly the same so whether you are giving one dollar a month or six dollars a month or however much is entirely up to you I recorded the show for you guys and so I wanted to make sure that as many of you had access to it as possible and now let me go to the review portion of the show in which I read a fan review sent in by one of you guys and in this case it is from I love snake just singular I love snake and I love snake is writing and all the way from the United States of America and I love snake rights I saw a bongo at the San Diego zoo thank you I love snake for letting me know that you saw a bongo at the San Diego zoo I live no where near the San Diego zoo and so that would be quite a trek out for me but I did not know that they had bongos ready for all of you guys to see that live down in San Diego so thank you I love snake for the five star review and though I don't know if it would technically qualify as a review in definition but regardless I am so glad that you were able to see a bongo at the zoo for those of you that love the show and wish to leave a review I greatly encourage you to do so it is something that is entirely extra and ought only to be motivated by the fact that you wish to leave a review for others to come listen and to enjoy the show together your listenership already means the world to me and even for those of you that wish to leave low reviews please when you leave a lower if you don't just click the one star button click the Windstar button and let me know why you hate the show that way we can at least make some positive constructive change and you might have something wonderful to say in terms of a way to better the show this podcast is by you guys for you guys and really sustained by all of you and so I greatly cherish all of your reviews good bad medium everything in between and let me just say where I got my facts from so we can go straight into the portion of the show I am sure that most of you are waiting for I got my facts for this particular episode from kids E. D. L. dot com one kind planet dot org and at him online dot com if you wish to check out these resources for yourself please do they are in the show notes or description of each and every episode this episode would not have been possible without them I would like for all of you listening to notice maybe where you're carrying some tension I know many of us normally have our shoulders up near our ears sometimes it is V. hands or the arms or the legs whatever it B. E. F. everybody really is different in my case it is mostly in the hands due to the nature of my work and so I would like for all of you to go ahead and try your best to relax all of those portions of your body as we go into this immersive experience with me staff wolf into the rivers were the hippopotamus resides all thank god for that this is an animal that I will have to try to control my excitement over because they are just so cool and such a unique creature let me begin first by going over some things about the hippo just as a more general synoptic view of these majestic river dwellers the hippos are part of the family hippo pot to midday I think I said that okay and this family incorporates large semi aquatic mammals which are primarily naked skin so they're not our furry friends are slimy friends even they are our naked skinned friends into this particular family the hippo pot to midday family has mainly two species of hippopotamus only V. common hippopotamus of sub Saharan Africa and the other is a pygmy hippopotamus of Liberia the common hippopotamus is also tagged as the river hippopotamus or simply just V. hippo as many of us know it and call it apart from their size other aspects distinguish the common hippos from the pygmy hippos the hippos are identified for their very bulky body and unusual lease dumpy little feat but don't let these little stumpy feet fool you these are some of the heaviest land mammals that the planet earth has to offer and it comes second after the African bush elephant while they are not taking the gold medal exactly in terms of the heaviest land mammal a silver medal in terms of all of the other animals we have covered is still incredibly impressive we might be tempted by some of these facts in terms of their Balki body and unusually stumpy feet to mistaken them as clumsy or slow hippopotamuses are anything but they are fast they are calculated along with some of the other facts that we will learn this makes them single handedly one of the most dangerous land mammals that there is the hippos prefers staying under water for most of the day to escape from the scorching heat of the environment that they live in but they will come back to land to mainly feed upon grasses the species is further divided into five different subspecies that is going to be based on the territories they inhabit and the morphology of the particular hippo the subspecies include the Nile hippopotamus which is also referred to as the great northern hippopotamus the Angola hippopotamus the two Chad hippopotamus or as it is often called the west African hippopotamus we also have the East African and the south African or the Cape hippo so why we may see that there are many different subspecies of the hippo the population of the hippo is constantly under threat because of the fact that they are hunted for high heat and ivory and meet but there are several measures being taken by multiple different conservation organizations to attempt to protect this beautiful animal the extant meaning the opposite of extinct so the species of hip %HESITATION that are still roaming around on their stubby feet in the world is currently collectively in between the ranges of one hundred and twenty five thousand to one hundred and forty eight thousand individuals left with such a large geographic range this is not exactly the highest number of population that they could have the geographical distribution of the hippopotamus now is limited to mostly Africa however it was at one point or another widely spread across the territories of Europe and North Africa but today it is particularly found in the region near the main rivers of central Africa as well as the Savannah its range incorporates Ethiopia central Africa Republic Bannon were run D. Nigeria Zimbabwe Tanzania equatorial Guinea Rwanda Kenya and many more within its geographical distribution which now is not as wide ranging as it once was but within the African continent the ideal habitat of the common hippo includes really any type of water body but generally they are really going to like swamps lakes and rivers they're going to enjoy pretty much anywhere where they have access to water and maybe even some mode of banks that they can enjoy they can deal with being in shallow water but because of the heat they like having deeper water so that they can submerge themselves and deep water for such a large animal and if we remember the second largest land mammal it is going to have to be decently deep a minimum depth of about six and a half feet which is around two meters in order to submerge their bodies the way they like to while they are submerging their bodies and enjoying the grasses who do they really live with the common hippo is commonly observed swimming or resting on the mud banks in groups but they do enjoy their private time during their eating time so they will graze mostly solitarily they will not prefer to gather around and enjoy and share the grass together they would rather go off and enjoy their meal away from their family the temperament of the hippo can be fairly unpredictable in certain circumstances some such as when they are grazing and enjoying their food sometimes maybe they can even have a flare up of temper if they are a mother hippo and something is between them and their baby maybe something as in between them and their water source but one thing is for sure that if you are between a hip %HESITATION and it's baby and you to lock eyes I would greatly hole that you were somewhere close to an escape route of some kind once that locking eyes happens and they notice that you were there this unpredictable temperament can manifest as a charge that is truly one of the most terrifying things to see in the wild they're dense bodies and their stubby legs will turn into these engines of force and power as the drive through the water not to doggy paddling or swimming you will see that they go up and down through the water and that is because they are pushing off of the riverbed the different rocks that are present in the river while driving back and forth so when you see them moving so quickly under the water and there bobbing up and down that is something they can do so they can get contact with the ground and run on the river floor that will play into the etymology of the word hippopotamus as we will see at the end of this episode the hippopotamuses lifespan in the wild and in case activity is relatively similar being about fifty five years but some of the longest living hippos in captivity have lived more than sixty one years of age it is interesting that this is one of the few times in which there is not a stark difference or a big discrepancy between the lifespans of an animal in the wild verses in captivity where they have access to medicine and safety from predation in the case of the hippo I cannot imagine they have a lot of natural predators that would want to mess with them besides humans what does the hippopotamus look like in terms of size an adult hippopotamus in length is going to be about three point three to five point two meters so they will be pretty big they can weigh up to nine thousand pounds ranging really from twenty eight hundred to about nine thousand which means that is about thirteen hundred to forty five hundred kilograms for those of you that prefer that unit of measurement they will be predominantly gray with a tinge of pink around their ears and their eyes the common hippo species is going to have the mail being significantly larger than the female a pattern that we have seen many a time on the show a layer of thin hair will cover the body of the hippos and it is more dead it's near the tail and the head I have seen pictures of hippos and they look like they have these really long whiskers perhaps that has some sort of usage to them the hippos are going to be able to secrete a fluid that works as a kind of sun screen and this cold blood sweat because of the fact that they are devoid of Burr raft they do not have sweat glands but the ears and nostrils of the hip %HESITATION are placed pretty near to the top of the head so that it can breathe just fine and be cautious of any danger that is why I suppose they can enjoy their time being partially submerged much of the day as opposed to us who can only be submerged just below the nose before we start getting into a bit of breathing trouble the hippopotamus however can enjoy countless hours being semi submerged like that and just looking around like a dense stumpy little submarine as you heard at the top of the episode the hippo does indeed make noises and it does produce many different sounds to communicate in the water as well as on the land they will squeak they will croak even wind or grunt under water and they will do a honking sound both in the water and on land if you are walking somewhere in the swampy kind of river areas in Africa and you hear some of these noises you ought to be quite careful because of how fast they move as we learned just a little bit earlier the hippopotamus may seem clumsy by its descriptions but they can run approximately nineteen miles per hour which is about thirty kilometers an hour you are definitely not going to be able to out swim or outmaneuver a hippo in river water and it is pretty unlikely that you'll ever be able to how to run a hippopotamus on land either the male hippo is referred to as the bowl while the female hippos are cold cal's something that we are pretty familiar with when it comes to other bovine species that we may be familiar with when the bulls and the cals get together they will make a baby hippo which is called a calf or cabs in its plural form the hippopotamus babies are approximately forty eight and a half to one hundred and twenty one pounds that's about twenty two to fifty five kilograms when they are born there are many adult people that I personally know that weigh less than one hundred and twenty one pounds so a fresh baby hippopotamus that has come into the world may just be heavier than a full grown person would we really expect anything less when it came to the world's second largest land mammal now let us move on to the final fact of the episode we choose the name hippopotamus where exactly does this name come from so it's definition from etim online dot com is an omnivorous meaning it eats both plant and animal material it is an omnivorous undulate packet dermatitis mammal of Africa and this word hippopotamus is going to come from the Greek word hippopotamus which means river horse and it came from an earlier Greek term known as whole hippos potom meals which is directly translated into English as the horse of the river I personally now love referring to the hippopotamus as the river horse and have never thought of such a definition of a hippopotamus before this episode but we can dig just a little bit deeper into why the Greeks thought that the hippo the hippopotamus was apt to be called a river horse and I believe it is because of one of the facts we covered earlier in terms of their maneuvering through the water I don't think that just because they like to be in the water while they have four legs is what prompted this distinction or this title but I think because of the fact that they are not actually doggy paddling or swimming through the water but are instead as it were galloping through the river as they are chasing something or moving quickly where they are diving and running along on the sea floor pushing off the rocks and the muddy bottom to be able to move very quickly this I imagine can be a pretty graceful site as long as you were watching it on a documentary and it is not a galloping in your favorite direction so that is why we call it the hippopotamus it comes from the Greek word hippopotamus from a prior E. regular formation of that horse of the river whole hippos or Tamils so I think that is just so cool thank you again Emma M. J. Kirsty and eva for the seriously awesome suggestion this episode would not have been possible without your listenership and your requesting of animals if you wish to request an animal please you can reach out to the Instagram relax with animal facts you can also send an email to relax with animal facts at the G. mail dot com and lastly you can also send a request via the website relax with animal facts under the animal request section we are going to pull up our little rubber boots as we go a little deeper into the swampy rivers to learn even more about this particular river horse we are going to pull up our rubber boots and track it just a little bit farther into the swampy rivers to learn more about our river horse friend on the patriot on page and so I hope that many of you will join me there thank you all for listening to this episode I really really hope you enjoyed it and I hope that you'll join me on the next podcast episode with the next animal take care.