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Are hippopotamus amphibians?

Are Hippopotamus Amphibians?


There is no doubt that hippopotamuses are fascinating animals. They are one of the largest land mammals and are known for their aggressive nature. However, one question that frequently comes up is whether or not hippopotamuses are amphibians.

What are Amphibians?

Before answering this question, let’s first understand what amphibians are. Amphibians are cold-blooded, vertebrate animals that have moist, permeable skin. They usually undergo a metamorphosis from an aquatic larval stage to a terrestrial adult stage. Examples of amphibians include frogs, toads, and salamanders.

Hippopotamus Physical Characteristics

To determine whether or not hippopotamuses are amphibians, we need to examine their physical characteristics. Hippopotamuses are large, semi-aquatic mammals that spend a large portion of their time in water. However, unlike amphibians, they do not have moist, permeable skin. Their skin is actually quite thick and nearly hairless. In addition, they do not undergo a metamorphosis from an aquatic larval stage to a terrestrial adult stage.

Hippopotamus Behavior

While hippopotamuses spend a lot of time in water, they are not considered amphibians due to their behavioral characteristics. Amphibians are able to breathe through their skin and absorb oxygen from water. However, hippopotamuses must surface to breathe air. In addition, they do not lay their eggs in water like amphibians. Instead, hippopotamuses give birth to live young on land.


In conclusion, hippopotamuses are not amphibians. While they share some similarities with amphibians, such as spending time in water, they lack the physical and behavioral characteristics that classify an animal as an amphibian. Hippopotamuses are fascinating animals, but they belong to a different classification.

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