8 things you never knew about hippos

1. The name hippopotamus means ‘river horse’ in greek

 

2. Hippos spend an average of 16 hours a day in water, though their ears and eyes stay dry on the very top of the head

 

3. A hippo can hold its breath for five whole minutes

 

4. To protect their skin hippos secrete a red oil that acts as a moisturiser and sun block

 

5. When hippos graze in the evening they eat up to 35 kilograms (80 pounds) of grass, which is only 2-3 percent of their body weight

 

6. Hippos can walk up to six miles every night while grazing

 

7. Calves weigh 45 kilograms (100 pounds) at birth and can suckle underwater by squeezing their eyes and ears shut

 

8. Mothers and young join ‘schools’ to stay safe from predators, and the young hippos play while the mothers supervise

 

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Image from www.flickr.com/photos/epcprince/3546727424