Hippopotamus Information on Habitat & Behavior
Behavior: The large hippopotamus is an aggressive animal; old scars and fresh, deep wounds are signs of daily fights that are accompanied by much bellowing, neighing and snorting. With the long, razor-sharp incisors and tusklike canines, the hippo is well-armed and dangerous. Hippos have developed some ritualized postures the huge open-mouthed “yawn” that reveals formidable teeth is one of the most aggressive.
Habitat: Two hippopotamus species are found in Africa. The large hippo, found in East Africa, occurs south of the Sahara. This social, group-living mammal is so numerous in some areas that “cropping” schemes are used to control populations that have become larger than the habitat can sustain. The other, much smaller (440 to 605 pounds) species of hippo is the pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis). Limited to very restricted ranges in West Africa, it is a shy, solitary forest dweller, and now rare.
On the map, the distribution of Nile hippopotamus is shown in yellow, that of the pygmy hippo in orange.
Rivers and swamps in dense forests in western Africa (Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and possibly Nigeria and Guinea).