The Amazing Hippopotamus Essay

1034 Words 5 Pages
Hippopotamuses are very fascinating animals to study and observe. With their semiaquatic lifestyle, they appear to be more closely related to whales than other hoofed mammals. Their ability to be versatile in their habitats helps protects them against different dangers that they face. During this research paper I learned many facts about hippopotamuses that I was not previously aware of. The hippopotamus is a part of the Animalia kingdom and from that it branches into being a part of the phylum, Chordata. They fall into the Mammalia class which flows into the order of Artiodactyla. The hippopotamus belongs to the Hippopotamidea family. The genus they belong to is the Hippopotamus. The species they belong to is H. Amphibious. (Burnie, …show more content…
The skin of the hippopotamus is 6 inches thick which helps in protecting against attacks. Also, the skin of the hippopotamus secretes a red-colored substance that turns orange and then brown upon drying. These secretions are referred to as “blood-sweat” and are highly acidic. They play a role in inhibiting the growth of bacteria on the hippopotamus and act as a sunscreen. (“Hippopotamus”) They have the ability to close their nostrils when underwater. While their skin is very thick and able to fight against growing bacteria, it is extremely sensitive to bites from flies when dry. Due to their enormous body size, the hippopotamus is able to float to the bottom of the lake and walk along the bottom. Yet, due to being able to inflate their lungs for long periods of time, they are able to float effortlessly. (Burnie, David, & Don E. Wilson) Female hippopotamuses and their young are usually found in groups of 10-20, but can form groups of up to 100. Every community of hippopotamuses occupies a section of the riverbank, with one dominant male marking the territory for that group. Other males can enter the group and are accepted as long as they stay submissive to the dominant male and do not attempt to mate. (Burnie, David, & Don E. Wilson) A female does not reach sexual maturity until 5 to 6 years of age, yet hits puberty around 3 to 4 years of age. Males reach sexual maturity at a slower rate than females, as they do not hit it until 7 to 8 years of age. The

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