Hungry Hungry Hippo
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+ Comments Hungry Hungry Hippo - 2005-09-15 09:00:00
In the Mara River, this hippopotamus (Greek name for 'river horse') displays his razor-sharp teeth capable of biting a small boat in half. A bull hippo's canines can grow to 28 inches long and can open its mouth up to four feet wide -- not too bad for a plant-eater. These loud mammals can belt out grunts and groans measuring 115 decibels, somewhere between a chain saw (110 db) and a rock concert (120 db)! They are extremely territorial and protective of their young: Hippos are very dangerous, having killed over 400 people in Africa (more than any other wild animal). The third biggest land animal -- smaller but heavier than a [white rhino](index.php?showimage=11 "Gazing Giants") -- are 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall at the shoulder, 12 feet (3 meters) in length, and weigh 3300 to 7000 lb (1,500 kg up to 3,200 kg). Hippos spend most of the day in the water avoiding the sun and they are extremely social, hanging out in groups of up to 40 others. We saw large groups of these guys in a few different locations along the river. Since the river has hippos and crocodiles, we had to be escorted by an armed guard for the duration of our stroll. I'm entering this photo in the Photo Friday photo contest this week since the theme is 'massive' because, well, this four-foot yawn is massive!