For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hippo's

Because of the sensitivity of their skin, herds only come out of the water to feed at night, when it is overcast or for short periods during the day.

Males have been known to kill the young, and for this reason, females will herd the little the little ones into the water in order to protect them whenever males come near.
Hippo's canine teeth are considered finer ivory than elephant tusks and they have been widely hunted for this reason.
Their name is derived from the Greek word meaning "river horse".
They are classified as belonging to the same family as pigs.
A single calf is born at a time, weighing approximately thirty kilograms, and are capable of swimming a few moments after birth.
The average time that they can remain submerged is between five and six minutes.
If they are out of the water and in the sun for a long period of time, their skin cracks and glands at the surface of the skin exudes a liquid which looks like blood.
Hippopotamus have the thickest skin of all land mammals - five centimetres - which constitutes a large percentage of their total body weight.
Certain fish will eat hippo dung. In some African countries, the people will use this to bait their fish traps.
Mating takes place only in the water, with the coupling lasting anything up to half an hour.

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