Are Hippos and Hippopotamus the Same?
The word “hippo” is derived from the Greek word “hippos,” which means horse. However, when most people hear the word “hippo,” they think of the adorable but dangerous river creatures famously known as hippos. Some people even refer to them as “hippopotamuses.” But, are hippos and hippopotamuses the same animal?
What is a Hippo?
A hippo is a short name for the common hippopotamus, or hippopotamus amphibius, which is a large, semi-aquatic mammal found in sub-Saharan Africa. Hippopotamuses are the third-largest land mammal and can weigh up to 4,000 pounds. They have a big, rounded body with short legs, a massive head with large teeth and jaws, and small eyes and ears.
What is a Hippopotamus?
Hippopotamus is the Greek word for “river horse” and is the full name for the species that includes the common hippopotamus and the pygmy hippopotamus. The pygmy hippopotamus is a much smaller endangered species and is native to the forests and swamps of West Africa.
So, are they the Same?
In conclusion, a hippo is a shortened version of the word hippopotamus and refers specifically to the common hippopotamus. Therefore, hippos and hippopotamuses are the same animals.
Fun Facts about Hippos:
– Hippos have been known to kill more humans in Africa than any other large animal except for mosquitoes.
– Hippos communicate with each other through grunts and snorts.
– A group of hippos is called a “pod”, “bloat”, or “herd”.
– Hippos can hold their breath for up to five minutes while underwater.
Table: Comparison of Common and Pygmy Hippopotamus
| Characteristics | Common Hippopotamus | Pygmy Hippopotamus |
| — | — | — |
| Weight | Up to 4,000 lbs | Up to 600 lbs |
| Habitat | Rivers, Lakes, and swamps | Forests and swamps |
| Conservation Status | Vulnerable | Endangered |
| Size | 13-15 ft long, 5-6 ft tall | 5 ft long, 2-3 ft tall |
| Temperament | Aggressive |Shy and reclusive |
In summary, while some people refer to the common hippopotamus as simply “hippo,” it should be noted that hippopotamus is the full name for the species. Therefore, hippos and hippopotamuses are the same animals. However, it is essential to know that there are different species of hippos, including the common and pygmy hippopotamuses, which have distinct characteristics and dwell in different habitats.