Name: Hippo
Scientific Name: Hippopotamus amphibius

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Description

The Hippopotamus is the African mammal which accounts for more human deaths on the continent annually than any other mammal. Their name comes from the ancient Greek word for "river horse". After the elephant and rhinoceros, the common hippopotamus is the third-largest type of land mammal. Despite their physical resemblance to pigs and other terrestrial even-toed ungulates, their closest living relatives are cetaceans (whales, porpoises, etc.) from which they diverged about 55 million years ago.

Distribution

Hippos are still found in the rivers and lakes of the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, north through to Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, west to The Gambia, and south to South Africa.

Size

Common hippos are recognizable by their barrel-shaped torsos, wide-opening mouths revealing large canine tusks, nearly hairless bodies, columnar-like legs and large size; adults average 3,300 lb and 2,900 lb for males and females respectively, making them the largest species of land mammal after the three species of elephants and the white and Indian rhinoceros.

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