Ask A Scientist: Aggressive Hippos

Momo meerkat asks, “Why don’t hippopotamuses let other animals join them in rivers?

Interesting question, Momo Meerkat! Hippopotamuses are actually pretty aggressive with each other. As a result, other animals, like kudu and impala (both types of African antelope) may avoid the waters when hippopotamuses are around to avoid getting caught in the middle of a hippo fight. Hippos are mostly herbivores (meaning they eat plants), but they sometimes eat other animals! This is why many animals will give the hippos their space. There is a lot we don’t know about hippo behavior though, so keep asking questions, Momo Meerkat!

– Meredith

While it may be difficult to watch hippos in the wild, you can watch hippos at the San Diego Zoo here.

Main image [Source]: Two hippos fighting.

If you have any questions about animals for our scientists, you can submit them here.

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