The secret lives of common hippos

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Every two weeks, Mongabay brings you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, our show featuring animals caught on camera traps around the world and hosted by Romi Castagnino, our writer and conservation scientist. Camera traps bring you closer to the secretive natural world and are an important conservation tool to study wildlife. This week we are meeting the common hippo. Common hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) live in sub-Saharan Africa and are the third-largest living land mammal, after elephants and white rhinos, weighing as much as 3 tons and about the size of an average car. Despite their bulky appearance, they have adaptations to their semi-aquatic environments allowing them to move swiftly on both water and land. On land, they can move at speeds up to 30 km per hour and in water, their webbed feet provide powerful propulsion. Hippos are the only mammals in the world to produce amphibious calls. They can communicate sound simultaneously in air and underwater like frogs do. Closeup on a hippo in the shallows of the Kazinga Channel. Image by Rhett A. Butler. Hippos are a very social species, living in groups of about 20 to 30 individuals, but some groups may include up […]

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