• Domain Eukarya: The cells have a nucleus, and they can be single celled or multicellular.
  • Kingdom Animalia: All animals are multicellular, Heterotrophs, and none are prokaryotes.
  • Phylum Chordata: Animals have bilateral symmetry, their digestive system is complete, and have cartilage on their exoskeleton.
  • Sub-phylum Vertebrae: This includes reptiles, fishes, birds, mammals, and amphibians and these animals are very muscular.
  • Class mammalia: 5,000 species placed in 26 order and most animals live an aquatic life.
  • Order Artiodactyla: Species have around 2 to 4 toes on each foot and they live in temperate, tropical, polar, and terrestrial areas.
  • Family Hippopotamidae: Their tails are short and tufted and they have huge heads.
  • Genus Hippopotamus: This Genus only includes the Hippopotamuses
  • Species: Hippopotamusi

General Description

  • Height: on average, a hippos standing height is about 150-165 cm tall.
  • Length: on average, a hippos length is about 209-505 cm + 35 cm because of its tail.
  • Weight: on average, a hippos weight is about 1,300-3,200 kg.
  • Color: a hippos main color is purple gray or slate color with brownish pink coloring around the ears and eyes and turns orange- red when exposed to the sun.
  • Natural Range: a hippos natural range is in rivers throughout the savanna of Africa and the main rivers of Central Africa.
  • Diet: a hippo normally eats plant foods such as, leaves, stems, wood, bark, and flowers.
  • Habitat Description: the water that hippos swim in range to about 2 meters as they prefer and the land usually inhabits swamps, rivers, and shallow lakes.
  • Predators: a hippos known predators are a lion, a hyena, a crocodile, and a human.

Physical Adaptations

A hippo has many physical adaptations here are some examples. A hippo lacks sweat glands and smell, this is helps it survive by not letting the predator know that he's there so they cant track the smell down. Another one is that they can hear from far away and this helps them survive by being aware of their surroundings like their a dog when they hear a squeaky toy. Next, a hippo has oily skin is like sunscreen so when its out in the sun they wont get a sunburn and this helps them survive by not having sunburns and wont hurt them to badly. Also, a hippo has outer epidermal skin layers that helps them survive by being vulnerable to wounds if their in a fight against a predator.

Behavioral Adaptations

A hippo has many different types of behavior here are a few. When a baby hippo is born its mom hippo takes the baby hippo on a walk this helps it survive by when the mom hippo lets the young hippo go it will already know how to walk. Another one is, Hippos mark their territory with dung and this helps it survive by letting the predator know that that's their home. Next, when hippos show yawning, roaring, and jaw clashing this is them usually showing dominance and this helps it protect themselves from predators. Lastly, during the dry season they travel together and get food and water this helps them survive by not getting starved and thirsty to death.


Burton, M. (2002). Hippopotamus. In International wildlife encyclopedia (3rd

ed., Vol. 9, pp. 1192-1195). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

mason, k. 2013. "Hippopotamus amphibius" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web.

Accessed March 11, 2015 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/