1. says

    As you will have noticed, hippos cannot actually swim, which is amazing given that they spend so much time in the water.

    Pygmy hippos and big hippos also have very different behaviours and life styles. While big hippos live in large social groups with many cows and calves, pygmy hippos are pretty solitary.
    Remember that the next time people justify human gender roles with gorillas….

  2. Ice Swimmer says


    You can justify just about any kind of family structure with apes; gorillas are polygynous, chimps promiscuous, orangutans single moms and gibbons are monogamous. Humans do it all.

  3. says

    Giliell, you forced me to stand up from my computer and walk over to my library. I thought that in one of the books I own (Ulrich Sedlag -- Die Tierwelt der Erde -- czech translation) is a info that contradicts what you just wrote. And I remembered correctly. According to that book hippos are not only capable to swim, but they swam distances up to 30 km from continental Africa to Zanzibar .

  4. says

    Giliell #2(emphassis mine):

    As you will have noticed, hippos cannot actually swim,

    Book: Hippos do swim and they swam over large large distances up to 30 km.

    I think there is some misunderstanding in here somewhere.

  5. says

    I just did a search, and every source says hippos cannot swim, nor can they float. They do a kind of bounce thing, touching down on the bottom, and bouncing off it, if they aren’t simply walking. I expect that can look like swimming if you can’t see what’s happening under the water.

    I noticed, when watching the baby in the video, they kept trying to climb up on mom. That behaviour speaks more to a non-swimming animal.

  6. says

    Yup, cursory search on the internet says that hippos cannot swim. The book says otherwise, it names them as good swimmers along with polar bears and saltwater crocodiles.

    These days I tend to trust internet more. It seems that the idea that hippos swim is one of those that was once believed and later falsified and that they did not reach islands by swimming.

    However not only is the book is relatively old, it also might be a mistake in translation. Maybe the formulation in german original differs slightly.

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