Talk:Hippopotamus

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Size of Hippo[edit]

Is it "second largest animal" as it says in first paragraph or "third largest mammal" according to the fourth paragraph?

SkinheadEscapes (talk) 22:57, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

It is the second largest land animal in size, being larger than a rhino, but the third largest land animal by weight, since the muscular rhino is occasionally slightly heavier than a hippo. —Stephen (talk) 00:59, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

How is that possible, seeing as how rhinos, especially the white and Indian species, are both taller and longer as well as heavier than hippos? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.250.200.131 (talk) 21:26, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

This is interesting. I have no information on the comparative size of rhinos and hippos, other than that they are both very heavy, but I have noted recently that at least the Black and White rhino species can gallop (4-time assymetrical leg sequence, like a running horse)(I don't have any information on the Indian ones, which don't appear in documentaries so often) but as far as I know hippos can only trot (2-time beat, suspended run), which they do very well and very fast. I do not know if this difference is a function simply of weight, or of leg/body proportions. Rhinos are astonishing nimble. I suspect hippos are too. They also seem to "canter" underwater, but only with their front legs, while the back legs generally trail. I have only various clips to go on so may be misinterpreting the latter observation. I have never found any articles or information about hippo locomotion on land, other than that they can move fast. 212.159.59.41 (talk) 16:35, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} Vandalism from 27 June 2009 was not reverted: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hippopotamus&diff=298906129&oldid=298906092 76.197.14.227 added "which includes a large horn and a small wisp of hair projecting out of its right side depending on the gender, " to the Description section. Please remove.

Yes check.svg Done Thanks. --NeilN talk to me 02:54, 13 January 2010 (UTC)


Another note, am I the only one that thinks "The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), Scott Kane" is someone trying to insult someone named Scott Kane? I've never heard that expression used for a hippo and when I tried to search for the two words together, Wikipedia seems to be the only place it comes up.

Hippos Also Attack Crocodiles[edit]

I have a citation: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6918747.ece

For some reason Wikipedia won't allow me to edit this page even though I can edit other pages; I'm assuming this is because the article is featured. I don't think it's my IP, as I can edit other pages. Anyway - the article describes this as a rare clash, but it's the second one I've seen. The first was in a Discovery Channel special. No citation for that one. I guess I'll leave this note here and come back later to see if Wikipedia allows me to update the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.154.250.251 (talk) 08:20, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Hippos Also Lick Crocodiles[edit]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6vJXRwsoSk —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.184.133.27 (talk) 10:30, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Learn Your Pluralisations[edit]

Don't assume that everything ending in -us is pluralised -i.. Hippopotamus is NOT Latin. It's a Greek compound word made up of Hippo (Horse) and Potamus (River), Potamus being a second declension noun, which is pluralised -oi, hus it would be Hippopotamoi, NOT Hippopotami, if you want to be faithful to its linguistic origins. —Preceding unsigned comment added by GuelphGryphon98 (talkcontribs) 05:50, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Wrong, I'm afraid. The plurals of Greek second declension nouns (ending in -οι) are routinely spelled in Latin script ending in -i. Here's a random selection to get you going: Cacti, Colossi of Memnon, Anthropophagi, Thalami, Acanthi, Aegospotami - all of which derive from Greek second-declension nouns. A quick look at some reputable dictionaries (including the OED) show that both hippopotami and hippopotamuses are perfectly acceptable plural forms. (You are, though, quite correct in saying that not "everything ending in -us is pluralised -i": to take the best-known example, *octopi is a hideous solecism.)
As for the nonsense which someone has written about hippaepotamus being "etymologically correct", this is clearly someone who knows neither Latin nor Greek. Vilĉjo (talk) 15:24, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you are right. If it was to be plural of horse it should be hippoipotamus, but this is not done. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BbGideon (talkcontribs) 16:17, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
"Hippopotamus" is actually a very strangely formed word. Greek compound terms, like in English, have the main defining part at the end, so "hippo-potamus" should be a type of river, not a type of horse (well, ungulate anyway). (Compare English pocket-money, which is a type of money, with money-pocket, a type of pocket.) I can't think of any other case in Greek of having the two parts this way round, and the result of this anomaly is that it's not at all clear which of the two parts should (logically or etymologically) be pluralised. Whatever the rights and wrongs, however, the plural as it is actually used in Greek is ἱπποπόταμοι, resulting in a standard Latin-script spelling of hippopotami. But it is an oddity. Vilĉjo (talk) 17:03, 27 June 2009 (UTC)


Please help me. What is the plural of pus? Pi? Poi? Puses? Pusses? I - not having classical learning - would favour the last, as not too easily confusible. Autochthony 1940z 2010.12.18. 81.155.133.144 (talk) 19:39, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Hi from Greece. In Greek the second declension "male" (In Greek, the nouns are male or female, as in French, and some are neutral) nouns ending in -ος in singular, in plural they end in -οι. Octapus (Οκτάπους in ancient Greek) doesn't end in -ος but in -ους and that's why the plural isn't octapi. The plural of hippopotamus in Greek, as said previously is ιπποπόταμοι. Ι think the word hippopotami sounds better than hippopotamuses in English (although it may still sound a bit weird). The word hippopotamoi seems a bit stranger in English as -οι is pronounced as i in Greek (just like -ει, and the rare -υι) but -oi isn't pronounced as i in English . Also for the plural of the word phenomenon, the word phenomena (which is the plural in Greek) is used, although this doesn't seem to make any sense in English but it sounds better and maintains the connection with the original word.--NNeilAlieNN (talk) 17:30, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Speaking of "phenomena" reminds me of this--Mr Fink (talk) 17:40, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
LOL.--NNeilAlieNN (talk) 02:08, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

That is very interesting. I was also taught that "hippopotamus" means "horse of the river", rather than "river-horse" (the difference being purely structural rather than semantic) but knowing no Greek grammar I can't deduce anything from this. If this comes up in teaching, I recommend using any form in any of the major print dictionaries, and if in doubt to stick to the "regular" English formation hippopotamuses. I removed a floating apostrophe from one entry here. They are very easy to pick up :) 212.159.59.41 (talk) 16:27, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Since English is not an inflected language, it is never considered improper to use the proper English pluralisation of unfamiliar words. If a hippopotamus is attached by Stachybotrys, that's bad enough, but if several hippopotamuses are attacked by Stachybotryses, that's awful. There's no harm in cogitating over the inflection of foreign languages, but the rules of the language of discourse prevail. 208.25.211.33 (talk) 23:34, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Image[edit]

Hippo at Philadelphia Zoo

Found a nice closeup image, but article is already overcrowded. Can this replace the one showing the head? Could add commentary about the teeth or whisker/pad to give it relevance. --165.21.155.15 (talk) 00:54, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

It's a pretty great picture. We should definitely find a spot for it. --JayHenry (talk) 02:34, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

"Blood Sweat" acidic or alkaline?[edit]

In this hippopotamus article, the natural sunscreen ("blood sweat") secretion is said to be very acidic, while in the article for pygmy hippopotamus it is listed as strongly alkaline. It does not seem likely that both could be true. References are given for each. Can someone knowledgeable set this straight? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.198.72.108 (talk) 06:22, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

I've found an answer to this. The "sweat" itself, as a mixture, is alkaline (ph: 8.5-10.5). The two pigments that control the color-shifting of the sweat are both acidic (red `hipposudoric acid`, orange `norhipposudoric acid`, phs not available off the top of my head.) Data at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v429/n6990/full/429363a.html.

-- Wingchild (talk) 11:57, 15 August 2008 (EST)

Very last of the anthracotheres[edit]

Miocene or Pliocene?--Wetman (talk) 11:40, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

The last anthracothere is thought to have died out in the Pliocene. Good catch! I bet I flubbed that on the pygmy hippo article too. Grr... --JayHenry (talk) 13:04, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Retromingent[edit]

Is anybody still confused as to what retromingent means, because I certainly am. It is not contained in any dictionaries I own, and in the "wiktionary", as in this article, it is defined as simply "to urinate backwards". What the hell does that mean? Did that clarify anything for anyone? I arrived at that definition from the word's derivatives and was still no closer to understanding. How exactly does something piss backwards? Please enlighten me because right now I am picturing internal pissage, and where I come from things urinate to expel waste and excess fluid from the body and I am just wondering how that works or is even possible when you piss "backwards" (seriously, could one possibly use a more vague and misleading term?). Please, just tell me what orifice urine is expelled from in a retromingent. I hope the urine at least leaves the body, because if it is heading backwards (as opposed to projectile pissing), as the article states, then my mind will be boggled. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.69.140.24 (talk) 06:13, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

It means that the animal's genital opening points posteriorly, so that it excretes a stream of urine that points backwards, like the way a cat marks its territory. What's so mindboggling about that?--Mr Fink (talk) 06:19, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
This is not complicated. The hippo's urine travels in the direction opposite its head. Most mammals, a dog for example, urinate straight downward or even a little bit forward, between the legs. --JayHenry (talk) 06:22, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I have changed the phrasing of the "retormingent" sentence so that the word is defined in the text rather than simply linked to a dictionary. I think it is much less confusing that way.

Skald the Rhymer (talk) 23:10, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

I think it's a crummy word to begin with. "retromingent" - caudal, dorsal, or refluent stream? Words that diminish precision and clarity, and are hoidy-toidy like "retromingent," are just jargon.208.25.211.33 (talk) 23:44, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Deadliest?[edit]

We read:

Hippos are very aggressive towards humans, and it is often claimed that hippos are the deadliest animal in Africa[REF]http://www.safari-stories.iblog.co.za/2007/12/25/the-most-dangerous-animal-in-africa/[/REF]; however, according to Smithsonian Magazine, while the animal is very dangerous, reliable statistics for this are unavailable.[REF name="HippoHaven"]"Hippo Haven". Smithsonian Magazine (in English). 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2007-01-23. [/REF]

The first "source" is a mere blog entry, vaguely referring to some popular belief. As for the second source, it certainly does say that the hippo is dangerous, but I can't see where it discusses whether it's the deadliest (whatever that might mean).

And another point: the Smithsonian Magazine says nothing in that article. A single writer is writing for the Smithsonian. Tama1988 (talk) 09:23, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I've replaced the blog with three other references instead (Duke University; Washington Post; National Geographic). The Smithsonian magazine does say that "many Africans regard hippos as the continent's most dangerous animal. Although accurate numbers are hard to come by, lore has it that hippos kill more people each year than lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos combined." Harrymph (talk) 12:18, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Hungry Hungry Hippos[edit]

I'd like to add a reference to Hungry Hungry Hippos, but this article is semi-protected and I can't edit it in. Oral Thrush (talk) 04:55, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

It's already mentioned at Hippopotamus#Cultural depictions. What else did you want to say? --JayHenry (talk) 06:25, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

cannibalism?[edit]

under the aggression section, the last sentence says - Hippos have been accused of occasional cannibalism but without proof.[45]

however, earlier in the same section there is this statement - The Discovery Channel recently broadcast footage of a hippo eating a wildebeest. The hippo first pushed two crocodiles out of its way with its gigantic snout to get to the wildebeest; the crocodiles put up no resistance at all. A park ranger in Africa recently sprinted over a hundred yards to survive a hippo attack. [46]

surely the fact it ate a wildebeest is PROOF that they are occasional cannibals?! would someone verify and correct, thanks. 77.97.18.22 (talk) 20:49, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Attacking a wildebeest is very different from engaging in cannibalism, especially since it would require the aforementioned cannibal to attack and eat a member of its own species, and not just a member of its same biological order.--Mr Fink (talk) 01:11, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Correction needed[edit]

Someone needs to correct the section on infanticide (last part under subsections Aggression). In the article, it is claimed that infanticide occurs in responce to overpopulated or habitat loss, but this is not true. As also clearly stated in the reference for the sentence in the article [1], infanticide by males is believed to be a way of increasing reproductive success (comparable to what can be seen in male lions when they take over a flock, and sometimes kill the young so the females go into oestrous faster). 212.10.82.245 (talk) 17:03, 4 March 2009 (UTC)


'Urban' Hippos[edit]

I'd like a mention in the article about the existence of a small hippo population in Cape Town, South Africa (in the Rondevlei Reserve, situated in the city). Here are a couple of links:[2], [3]

(Drakenwolf (talk) 14:02, 18 March 2009 (UTC))

evolution[edit]

The new article in Nature (now ref [10]) contains some revision of the phylogeny that should be mentioned in the "Evolution" section, but I don't have time to review it. I can provide a copy of the article to someone willing to work on it (send me email). Ability to read fairly technical stuff is required. McKay (talk) 00:47, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Snake[edit]

Text needs to be changed to reflect that Hippo is the largest killer of humans by a mammal (except humans) in Africa. If the term Animal is used then there might be lot of other ones such as Snakes, Mosquitoes (mentioned) & other pararsites that may be ahead of Hippo. Photnart (talk) 05:02, 8 April 2009 (UTC).

Go for it. I hadn't caught that line, but obviously more humans are killed by parasites than by hippos. --KP Botany (talk) 05:58, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I edited it to say "large animals," as this is the general context, hippos are more dangerous than lions and crocodiles and wildebeest, to humans at least. I removed the sentence about mosquitoes as it is a quote from an anonymous zoo keeper, not a researched fact. Thanks. --KP Botany (talk) 06:48, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

To say that the hippos' closest relatives are cetaceans in the same paragraph that we say that they are arteriodacts is stretching it a bit. I'm aware of the evidence, but this point should be clarified.67.182.148.236 (talk) 16:30, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Run[edit]

Hippo maximum running speed 18,5 mph = 30 km/h. --Angel310 (talk) 07:02, 29 May 2009 (UTC)Angel310

We read "despite its stocky shape and short legs, it can easily outrun a human" but in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Footspeed we read the fastest human footspeed on record is 44.72 km/h (27.79 mph), seen during a 100 metres sprint (average speed between the 60th and the 80th meter) by Usain Bolt.[4] citing http://berlin.iaaf.org/mm/document/competitions/competition/05/30/83/20090817081546_httppostedfile_wch09_m100_final_13529.pdf.

So, the fastest human to date is faster than the fastest hippo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brianpcarr (talkcontribs) 20:40, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

This is probably off topic[edit]

I noticed that the IP responsible for replacing "Hippopotamus" with "Rosie O'Donnell" has been involved with at least one other case of vandalism. Being a wikipedia n00b I have no idea how to properly recommend that IP for banning. Feel free to delete this section when the proper channels have been followed. (or, alternatively, if it's not actually necessary to band 99.164.11.66) --98.210.101.201 (talk) 02:28, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Hippopotamidae/Hippopotamus evolution[edit]

I just noticed that the evolution section on the Hippopotamidae article links to the evolution section on this article. Since Hippopotamidae is the family, and Hippopotamus is a species within that family, I found this to be a curious choice. It would seem to me to be logical to reverse that ordering, but I don't know how this has been handled in general among taxonomic articles (I only really visited these pages because their currently featured), so I figured that I would at least mention it.
Ω (talk) 09:00, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Hippos in the Niger River, Mali[edit]

I am surprised that the Niger River in Mali is not included in the range map in the article nor on the detailed map at the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

Googling suggests that there are still hippos in the river - see for example:

Aa77zz (talk) 09:07, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Hippos Can Easily Outrun a Human?[edit]

There are two sentences in the article as follows: "Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it can easily outrun a human. Hippos have been clocked at 18 mph (29 km/h) over short distances." The human record is almost 50% faster than that, over short distances, which would seem to indicate that at least some humans are faster than a hippo -- and that there are many, many humans which the hippos cannot EASILY outrun. If no one objects shortly, I'll rewrite these sentences. Larry (talk) 20:13, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

They are comparable if you compare the average hippo to the fastest humans, over a very short distance (<1 mile). That's a rather restricted comparison. The average hippo is substantially faster than the average human and can easily outrun him. Those sentences are fine as-is. Raul654 (talk) 21:51, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Cultural Depiction[edit]

I would like to add a reference to the hippo being used the as the cultural inspiration for Flying Hippo Web Technologies [4], but the article is semi-protected and I can't add the content. User:Aimeedale (talk) 10:15, 22 September 2009 (UTC) 216.81.180.97 (talk) 15:18, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

Why is there a huge chunk of etymology in the lead? It can surely be moved down to later on in the article. This would clean up the lead, making it easier to understand, and still retain the actual information. --NellieBly (talk) 16:10, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Currently the lead seems to say that hippos came from the greeks. Clever greeks, I never knew they were into genetic engineering. ;-) Hippos have been around a long while before that though.- Wolfkeeper 18:47, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Currently, Wolf, it's customary in Wikipedia to include etymology etc. in an article's first sentence. It looks like we're on our way to change this habit for the better, but if you storm through articles deleting or relocating this information before a new policy is agreed upon and a clear recommendation is included in Wikipedia's guidelines, you might just cause editing wars and antagonism. Let's wait a little before setting off changing this structure everywhere. Dan 20:32, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
There is a long discussion on Wikipedia talk:Lead section#Etymology in the lead? in which User:Wolfkeeper is pursuing his personal belief that etymology should not appear in article leads. After Wolfkeeper removed the full etymology from the lead, I added back to the lead the basic fact that "hippopotamus" it is "ancient greek for river horse", which he removed and I then restored. Hippopotamus has included a discussion of the word's etymology since February 25, 2002, two weeks after the article first appeared on Wikipedia (and on its second edit), and apparently has always thereafter included the etymology in the lead. Apparently innumerable editors have felt that appropriate. Ecphora (talk) 00:40, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I only said that long etymologies shouldn't be in the first sentence (and possibly the first paragraph) primarily because it impairs readability, and other reasons as well. Point of fact, I'm not that unhappy with the current lead in this article.- Wolfkeeper 01:52, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Great. I also believe the current version is fine. Maybe we're not so far apart. Ecphora (talk) 02:33, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Can someone please add a close parenthesis to "Magawit (Sebei,"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Loupgrru (talkcontribs) 20:35, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Hippo extirpated range[edit]

I find the range map highly suspicious. The cited source does not mention areas where hippos have lived but do no longer.

Further, I have a hard time believing that hippos could ever have lived in the rocky barren uplands of South Africa or anywhere at all in the Namib Desert. Their lack of presence in these areas clearly does not represent extirpation. Otherwise I guess they've been extirpated from the wild in Kazakhstan too, 'cause there ain't any there neither. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.106.100.69 (talk) 04:36, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Hippos, other aquatic mammals, and body hair[edit]

The sixth paragraph in the "Description" section contained the sentence "Like other aquatic mammals, the hippopotamus has very little hair." This appears to be clearly wrong: according to the Aquatic mammal article, included among the aquatic mammals are the marine mammals, which in turn include the pinnipeds, the sea and marine otters, and the polar bear, all of which are abundantly covered in fur; other fur-bearing aquatic mammals include beavers, the other species of otter, and the platypus. I therefore changed the sentence to read "Like its relatives the cetaceans [the hippo's relation to the cetaceans having been established above], the hippopotamus has very little hair." This could likely be expanded -- the manatee and dugong, for instance, appear to be other nearly hairless aquatic mammals -- but I didn't feel comfortable generalizing further. Please feel free to improve if you can. Danny oldsen (talk) 14:05, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Me again. Having read through the discussion above, stressing the hippo's relation to the cetaceans seems like it might not be the way to go. It seems like a more relevant/instructive version of this sentence might be "Unlike most other semi-aquatic animals, the hippopotamus has very little hair." (See, e.g., http://www.riverapes.com/AAH/FoF/10Leyhausen.htm.) So I've fixed the fix; again, improvement sought. Danny oldsen (talk) 14:16, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

It is strange that noone has bothered to write that hippopotamus actually means "river of the horse", not "river horse". The two Greek words that make the name of this animal were stringed together the wrong way and the name stuck.

No, it means "horse (of) the river," in the exact same way "Hoplophoneus" means "Weapon (of) Murder"--Mr Fink (talk) 22:49, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Bloat of Hippos[edit]

This article mentions that a group of Hippos is called a Pod, Herd, Dale, or Bloat. However, this statement does not appear to have a citation. I have searched for some substantiation for calling a group of Hippos a Bloat but every web page that mentions it appears to be copying Wikipedia. Could someone in the know provide a reference for this statement?

Non sequitur in first paragraph?[edit]

The last sentence in the first paragraph states "After the elephant, the hippotamus is the largest land mammal and the heaviest extant artiodactyl, despite being considerably shorter than the giraffe." The last phrase, "despite being considerably shorter than the giraffe", appears to be completely irrelevant. Or am I missing something? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wocky (talkcontribs) 10:17, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Generally, taller things are heavier. On the other hand, every idiot knows that most of a Giraffe's height is not too massive. I suppose the line should be removed. Daniel J. Hakimi (talk) 18:07, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

  • OK, I've removed it. Wocky (talk) 07:35, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Hippo Milk?[edit]

I've heard some cool things about hippo milk. It's apparently pink, and one pint contains 1600 kcal of energy. The latter is pretty astounding -- and I honestly want to know more about it. Can we work that in somewhere? Who knows things about it? Daniel J. Hakimi (talk) 18:14, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

"Pink hippo milk" is an urban myth. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:44, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Problems[edit]

This article has certain problems that may threaten its FA status.

  • Cite 10 is a 300+ page book and needs page numbers given for the specific cites.
  • Some cites are not converted to cite templates.
  • cite 50 is in url form. Its a low qauilty source anyway.

LittleJerry (talk) 01:30, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

The third heaviest land animal and one of the heaviest quadrapeds?[edit]

Isn't this a, rather unstylish, repetition?

If an animal is the third largest land mammal then it is likely to be one of the largest quadrapeds isn't it. Surely that's a given. Also it seems like the description moves from precise: "third heaviest" to pretty vague: "one of the largest". Doesn't look good and seems unnecessary. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marchin Man (talkcontribs) 21:32, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

So fix it. --jpgordon::==( o ) 21:36, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Hey, I am happy to fix it... I am just looking to those with more biology knowledge if perhaps there is a reason for saying bit about quadrapeds... If there isn't sure, it'll be fixed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marchin Man (talkcontribs) 08:57, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Could be that there's a distinction being made between size (largest) and weight (heaviest)? Scratching head a little. --jpgordon::==( o ) 20:23, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Range Map[edit]

Just a little thing, but shouldn't the range map have a caption explaining what the red and green areas refer to? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.111.185.4 (talk) 16:18, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Cleanup[edit]

I did some polishing on the article. The lede contained cites that are not needed as they are done in the body of the article. Some of the paragrahs were too short, so I merged them. The subspecies can be sourced to "The Hippos" book. The sentence on Zambia and Tanzania having the largest populations belong in the body. The lede should not contain information not in the body. I also left a few needed cite tags. LittleJerry (talk) 16:46, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Killing people[edit]

Doesn't the hippo kill more people in Africa than any other animal does? If so, this is worth mentioning. Axl ¤ [Talk] 10:14, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

yes — Preceding unsigned comment added by 73.50.67.125 (talk) 15:25, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
The mosquito kills far more people. Graham87 02:23, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Range map[edit]

What is the significance of the red and green areas on the range map? Also, given the high prevalence of red–green colour blindness, contrasting red and green on the map is not a good choice. Axl ¤ [Talk] 10:17, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

native hunting[edit]

do tribesmen still hunt it, or not anymore?

Aggression: hippo bites[edit]

I've read somewhere that hippo bites are almost always fatal, due to obvious reasons of the sheer size and force of the bite and also because the hippo will attempt to overpower, shake, dunk, and drown its prey. I think there's been at least one case of a person surviving a hippo bite, though, with the person miraculously surviving because of one of the hippo's lower canines narrowly missed his one of vital organs by inches (I think it was either his liver or one of his kidneys) and the other lower canine went through one of his legs (narrowly missing the femoral artery too). They had it on the Discovery Channel on the last segment of the Weird or What? third season episode, "Amazing Survival", with the person who had survived it and a dramatized re-enactment of the attack while he was in Africa, boating down a river with a guide. I think it should be added this article just to emphasize how fatal a hippo bite is and also how a hippo attacks and kills. 65.87.51.51 (talk) 17:13, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Paragraph on human consumption of hippos[edit]

I have created a paragraph in the article this topic and added clear cites from peer reviewed articles. I single reviewer has repeatedly removed my contributions summarily and without discussion. However, I believe this is paragraph is a valuable enhancement to the article. I am happy to elaborate on the importance of human consumption to the long-term viability and/or destruction of this species. I have asked the review to share thoughts here rather than engage in edit wars. If there are any other supporting or opposing views on this topic, please share your thoughts here. Ctatkinson (talk) 15:56, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

This topic has already noted in the conservation section. You are the one making major edits, to an FA no less, and you are the one that needs to establish consensus. LittleJerry (talk) 16:37, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
I found the fact that a bill had been passed which allowed Hippos to be released absolutely fascinating and must be included! I also believe there should be a section on human consumption of hippos, although not too much detail. Ctatkinson, I suggest you re-introduce the material and we then discuss it on the Talk page.__DrChrissy (talk) 18:35, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
The material must be discussed BEFORE it can be added and objections must be addressed. Here's mine. The bill wasn't passed. It failed and is now part of the dustpan of history. Just because something has been recently reported widely over the internet, doesn't mean it should be given undue weight. I have no objection to it being mentioned but not detailed to the point that it has. The material largely comes from one source, Jon Mooallem. If the "hippo bill" and its significance was discussed by numerous other historians and hippo experts then that would be different. But as of now, the material violates WP:BALASPS. LittleJerry (talk) 20:46, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Also, hippo farming is not mentioned in the cited article "South Africa Considers Rhino Farming, Horn-Trading". LittleJerry (talk) 19:45, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
As per Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle, the bold edit has been made, it has been reverted, it has been discussed, so Ctatkinson, the next stage in the cycle is to make a further bold edit to promote further discussion.__DrChrissy (talk) 08:45, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
Wiki:BOLD states "Making bold edits is encouraged, as it will result in either improving an article, or stimulating discussion. Therefore, if your edit gets reverted, do not revert again. Instead, use the opportunity to begin a discussion with the interested parties to establish consensus." Its being discussed now. The next stage is to address objections and state your case. LittleJerry (talk) 12:21, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

DrChrissy has suggest that the Hippo Discussion section be brought here for discussion, so below is the text. I added this section on March 10th, and on April 22nd, JerryLittle summarily deleted the text without notice. I feel there is nothing to be gained from an edit war, I encourage your comments and recommendations on this text:

Hippopotamus meat was commonly eaten by the Europeans in South Africa in the 19th Century, and in 1910, Louisiana Congressman Robert Broussard introduced the American Hippo bill, H.R. 23621, to authorize the importation and release hippopotamus into the bayous of Louisiana.[1][2] Broussard argued that the hippopotamus would eat the invasive and destructive water hyacinth that was clogging the rivers of Louisiana, benefiting shipping, and also produce meat to solve another serious problem at the time, the American meat crisis.[2] The chief collaborators and proponents of Broussard's bill were Major Frederick Russell Burnham, the celebrated American scout who became the inspiration for both Indiana Jones and the Boy Scouts, and Captain Fritz Duquense, a South African scout who later became a notorious spy for Germany and the leader of the Duquesne Spy Ring.[3][4] Presenting before the U.S. Agricultural Committee, Burnham made the point that none of the animals that Americans ate, chickens, pigs, cows, sheep, lambs, were native to the U.S., all had been imported by European settlers centuries before, so why should Americans hesitate to introduce hippopotamus and other large animals into the American diet? Duquesne, who was born and raised in South Africa, further noted that European settlers on that continent commonly included hippopotamus, ostrich, antelope, and other African wildlife in their diets and suffered no ill effects. Former President Theodore Roosevelt backed the plan, as did the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Washington Post, and the New York Times which praised the taste of hippopotamus as “lake cow bacon”.[3] The American Hippo bill fell just short of passing.[2]

Along with the destruction of habitat, the hippopotamus poaching is causing the population to crash and putting the species at risk of extinction.[5] In modern times, wild hippopotamus meat is consumed for food in the Congo.[6], and hippopotamus has become a delicacy in parts of central Africa.[5] Hippopotamus teeth, which can grow to 60 centimetres or more long, have become a valued substitute for elephant ivory.[5] As with the rhino, there are new proposals to establish hippopotamus ranching in Africa, similar to what was proposed in Congressman Broussard's hippo bill, as a means to save endangered species.[7]

  1. ^ Miller, Greg (December 20, 2013). "The Crazy, Ingenious Plan to Bring Hippopotamus Ranching to America". Wired (magazine). ISSN 1059-1028. 
  2. ^ a b c Mooallem, John (2013). American Hippopotamus. New York: The Atavist. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Eplett, Layla (March 27, 2014). "The Hunger Game Meat: How Hippos Nearly Invaded American Cuisine". Scientific American. ISSN 0036-8733. 
  4. ^ Burnham, Frederick Russell (1944). Taking Chances. Los Angeles: Haynes Corp. p. 11–23. ISBN 1-879356-32-5. 
  5. ^ a b c Pearce, Fred (2003). "Poaching causes hippo population crash". New Scientist. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Taste for hippo meat threatens population". Associated Press. 2005. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ Spillane, Chris (July 24, 2013). "South Africa Considers Rhino Farming, Horn-Trading". Bloomberg. 

Ctatkinson (talk) 16:16, 28 April 2014 (UTC) 16:16, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

The conservation section had already stated that hippos are killed for meat (I added in the part about delicacy and teeth). The article "South Africa Considers Rhino Farming, Horn-Trading" does not mention hippo farming.
As for the hippo bill, like I said it goes into too much detail on a relatively unimportant topic. For example "The chief collaborators and proponents of Broussard's bill were Major Frederick Russell Burnham, the celebrated American scout who became the inspiration for both Indiana Jones and the Boy Scouts, and Captain Fritz Duquense, a South African scout who later became a notorious spy for Germany and the leader of the Duquesne Spy Ring", and "Presenting before the U.S. Agricultural Committee, Burnham made the point that none of the animals that Americans ate, chickens, pigs, cows, sheep, lambs, were native to the U.S., all had been imported by European settlers centuries before, so why should Americans hesitate to introduce hippopotamus and other large animals into the American diet? Duquesne, who was born and raised in South Africa, further noted that European settlers on that continent commonly included hippopotamus, ostrich, antelope, and other African wildlife in their diets and suffered no ill effects." This information would be better suited for an article on the hippo bill.
I think the way it is now; "Hippopotamus meat was commonly eaten by the Europeans in South Africa during the 19th Century, and in 1910 the US government made a serious effort to farm the hippopotamus for its meat in Louisiana (as well as control the invasive water hyacinth); but the project was abandoned as the "hippo bill" fell short of passing." is all that's needed. Feel feel to suggest a better summarization. If you want to write more about this topic, I recommend starting an article on it. LittleJerry (talk) 16:59, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
I tend to agree with LittleJerry. There's no need to completely remove it, but it should be short, and I think that LittleJerry's summary appears to be about right. Since the bill didn't pass it's more of a "hey-waddya-know" trivia thing, but on the other hand it's probably something that was in the air a bit (bills don't usually come out of nowhere). I personally wouldn't object to a short article on the Hippo Bill, and that might be a good a place to put the extra info, and not throw away all that work. It would make an interesting WP:DYK. I'm not into doing the work, but I encourage others to if they want. Herostratus (talk) 18:25, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
My suggested edit.
Hippopotamus meat was commonly eaten by the Europeans in South Africa in the 19th Century.[citation needed]
In the U.S. in 1910, Louisiana Congressman Robert Broussard introduced the "American Hippo bill" <<<H.R. 23621, this could be deleted>>> to authorize the importation and release of hippopotamus into the bayous of Louisiana.[1][2] Broussard argued that the hippopotamus would eat the invasive water hyacinth that was clogging the rivers and also produce meat to help solve the American meat crisis.[2] The chief collaborators and proponents of Broussard's bill were Major Frederick Russell Burnham and Captain Fritz Duquense[3][4] Burnham made the point that none of the animals consumed by Americans, i.e. chickens, pigs, cows, sheep, lambs, were native to the U.S. - all had been imported centuries before, so why should Americans hesitate to introduce hippopotamus for meat? Former President Theodore Roosevelt backed the plan, as did the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Washington Post, and the New York Times which praised the taste of hippopotamus as “lake cow bacon”. <<< is "lake" a typo of "like">>>[3] The "American Hippo Bill fell" just short of being passed.[2]
Along with habitat destruction, hippopotamus poaching is causing the population to crash and putting the species at risk of extinction.[5] In modern times, wild hippopotamus meat is consumed for food in the Congo[6] and hippopotamus has become a delicacy in parts of central Africa.[5] Hippopotamus teeth, which can grow to longer than 60 cm, have become a valued substitute for elephant ivory.[5] As with the rhino, there are new proposals to establish hippopotamus ranching in Africa, similar to what was proposed in Congressman Broussard's "American Hippo Bill, as a method to save endangered species.[7]
__DrChrissy (talk) 14:34, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
  1. ^ Miller, Greg (December 20, 2013). "The Crazy, Ingenious Plan to Bring Hippopotamus Ranching to America". Wired (magazine). ISSN 1059-1028. 
  2. ^ a b c Mooallem, John (2013). American Hippopotamus. New York: The Atavist. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Eplett, Layla (March 27, 2014). "The hunger game meat: How hippos early invaded American cuisine". Scientific American. ISSN 0036-8733. 
  4. ^ Burnham, Frederick Russell (1944). Taking Chances. Los Angeles: Haynes Corp. p. 11–23. ISBN 1-879356-32-5. 
  5. ^ a b c Pearce, Fred (2003). "Poaching causes hippo population crash". New Scientist. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Taste for hippo meat threatens population". Associated Press. 2005. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ Spillane, Chris (July 24, 2013). "South Africa considers rhino farming, horn-Trading". Bloomberg. 

It still gives undue weight to a bill that never passed, was forgotten about and recently brought to light by one historian. Try summarizing it in two or three sentences. Also, as I stated before, the article South Africa considers rhino farming, horn-Trading does not mention hippo farming and the conservation section already mentions poaching for hippo meat. LittleJerry (talk) 15:15, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

"Undue weight" is your opinion - that of a single editor. Let's wait to hear the opinions of other editors.__DrChrissy (talk) 09:14, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Okay, I'll accept the "Hippo bill" paragraph expect for the line; "Burnham made the point that none of the animals consumed by Americans, i.e. chickens, pigs, cows, sheep, lambs, were native to the U.S. - all had been imported centuries before, so why should Americans hesitate to introduce hippopotamus for meat?". LittleJerry (talk) 15:18, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

The text recommended by DrCrissy was deemed acceptable to all, except that LittleJerry requested the deletion of one sentense. As a compromise, accepted the deletion of the sentence that both DrChrissy and I deemed acceptable and I edited the Hippo article accordingly. In addition, we all agreed that there was not another "Revert" after the "Discussion". However, LittleJerry again summarily deleted the text without discussion, thus breaking the agreement. Ctatkinson (talk) 13:39, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

I never agreed to the second paragraph. I stated "Okay, I'll accept the "Hippo bill" paragraph expect for the line..." I stated numerous times on this page and in the edit summary why I did not approve of the second. LittleJerry (talk) 20:48, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Your talk page silence on a paragraph agreed to by DrChrissy and myself created ambiguity. Rather than over assert your opinion by deleting a paragraph agree to by other editors, bring your thoughts to this page so we can discuss. If your logic is valid, we will reach a consensus and improve the article accordingly. In the meantime, undo your deletion in the article itself and start the discussion on this page so we may reach a logical consensus. Ctatkinson (talk) 15:24, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
We already reached a consensus. I agreed to the DrChissy's paragraph on the Hippo bill. I did not agree to the second paragraph. I don't know why you think every edit should be justified on the talk page. Edit summaries are there for a reason and I did not create ambiguity. The second paragraph simply repeats the same information in the "conservation" subsection and I don't need to constantly justify deleting redundant information. LittleJerry (talk) 21:08, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Pablo Escobar’s hippos: A new population?[edit]

I see the BBC Website reports a fascinating story about human induced population spread for the hippo (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27905743). In view of the fact that they are clearly established, could one consider that the range of the hippo has now extended? Freedom1968 (talk) 05:03, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Dangerous Animals[edit]

"The hippopotamus is one of the most aggressive and unpredictable creatures in the world and, as such, ranks among the most dangerous animals in Africa."

The source given for this statement is not a good source, just a collection of "fun facts".

Are there statistics to support this statement? Deaths per year due to hippos, that sort of thing?

CBHA (talk) 15:42, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Hippo Skin Thickness[edit]

"The skin is 15 cm (6 in) thick,[32] providing it great protection against conspecifics and predators"

The source [1], clearly states 6 centimeters, not 6 inches. Other sources online support this. [2] . The page should change the measurement, as it is clearly in error. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.39.211.68 (talk) 06:45, 17 September 2014 (UTC)


Seriously, why is nobody addressing it!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.77.40.10 (talk) 09:45, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Diet -- They eat meat also[edit]

diet in nature consists almost entirely of grass, with only minimal consumption of aquatic plants Hippo eat meat if they get the chance. video--Inayity (talk) 15:25, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 23 January 2015[edit]

I think that the first paragraph should be split after the sentence "Male hippos appear to continue growing throughout their lives while females reach maximum weight at around age 25". Its too large as it is and weight could have its own paragraph. Also the skull picture should on the left. It looks better facing the text. 155.138.255.2 (talk) 19:24, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template.  B E C K Y S A Y L E 00:26, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I note the statement that hippos cannot swim or float, but please see article written by San Diego Zoo which adds to this "Hippos can even sleep underwater, using a reflex that allows them to bob up, take a breath, and sink back down without waking up" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ftpbcs (talkcontribs) 19:11, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Estes, R. (1992). The Behavior Guide to African Mammals: including hoofed mammals, carnivores, primates. University of California Press. pp. 225
  2. ^ http://scribol.com/environment/hippos-the-most-dangerous-animals-on-earth