Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hippo Tales

Think you know everything about hippos?

Here's a hippo primer in the Daily Courier.

(Photo Credit)


  1. The Persians rode them when fighting with Spartans. I saw that in the documentry "300".

    [Nick: I knew of Hannibal & the elephants, but had not heard of the hippos and the Persians. Good one Murph.]

  2. did you watch the same program on PBS Sunday night that I did? Or perhaps hippos are just in the collective imagination at the moment.

    [Nick: No, Myrnia, I did not see the show]

  3. And I thought you would have had a photo of Senate-hopeful, Rand Paul, telling a group of hippos that if they want drug rehabs in their county, they would just have to come up with the money themselves and not take any federal money, even if they are the poorest county in Appalachia.

    [Nick: I think you mean Senate-hopeful, Bland Paul :)]

  4. Look at those fangs. Not even the cute molars that Disney shows. A quick bite on the leg and your toast. Of course, when they do bite, they normally take their victim to the bottom of the pond (lake, river...) and let em drown.

    If you enjoy learning about African animals, read any of the "Death in the ...." books by Peter Hathaway Capstick. A professional hunter and games keeper for many years. Good reading on a winters day.

  5. I recently saw a show on the National Geographic channel and they had baby hippos...oh man, what cute little buggers! BTW, you'd think that gator would have trouble going down!

  6. Referring to the sacred nature of the Hippo to the ancient Egyptians ...

    Seth was thought to have turned into a hippopotamus during his fight with Horus,the falcon god

    Ammut,the female demon had the rear end of the hippopotomus.

    The female hippopotomus on the other hand,was a manisfestation of Taweret,the benevolent goddess of fertility and childbirth.

    Of course it was also widely feared by those who lived along the Nile and well knew that they killed many who walked or swam where they also lived and played. Still they are responsible for more deaths then the crocodiles who are also dangerous and too were sacred to the ancient Egyptians. Ammut's other body part was that of a crocodile.

  7. Multiple hippopotamus's = Hippopotamidae=Hippopotami...

    [Nick: Ah yes, the eternal plurality issue of words like hippopotamus and octopus. As I understand it, hippopotamuses and octopuses are best to use. Taking octopus as an example: octopus comes from the Greek word, oktopous - okto meaning eight and pous meaning foot. The correct Greek plural of pous is podes. Since a Greek root requires a Greek plural, octopodes is the proper plural. But who uses that! Nobody, unless you’re visiting downtown Athens and ordering Octopodes Souvlaki. And don’t try slipping a quick ‘octopi’ into a sentence when you’re ordering in a Greek restaurant, because you would be guilty of adding a Latin plural to a Greek root, and that’s definitely grounds for immediate deportation. So, we’re left with octopuses. It isn’t technically correct either, because it adds an English plural to a Greek root, but at least everyone in English speaking countries will know what you mean. So, for similar reasons, hippopotamuses is the most correct. Now, I’m no English scholar, so I usually just stick with hippos!]

  8. Lighthearted and informative at the same time. :)

  9. Here's a riddle for you guys...which animals names are both plural and singular?

    [Nick: Sheep and deer come to mind. And maybe dolphin. I'm sure there are more]

  10. Hippo sun tan there's a possibility.

  11. antelope....Caribu...

    How about a couple of those "octopus thingys"?

    [Nick: oh yes, squid would be another]

  12. I was laughing so hard with the stuff you were writing back-and-forth with 'fishy' & 'gordon' that it reminded me of the old days before so many became so polarized and way too critical and we lost folks that got 'crushed' by thugs that even I got truly discouraged along with others that things were not going to change on this site. You have reminded me that we are all in these crazy times together and we better darn well all try to get along no matter what!!! Just my humble opinion...

  13. Very interesting and informative post. I now know so much more about the hippo. Enjoyed the little asides. They made me smile.

    Nick, please get in won a prize on my 300 follower give away.
    ormondann at gmail dot com

  14. Nick - you left me a comment some days ago that still makes me giggle when I read it-
    reading the comments people leave you is nearly as fun as reading the blog post.
    I got as far as the Persians -

  15. Oh...I didn't know about that sweat glands thing! Cool stuff.

    Those hippos can be nasty. I wouldn't want to be backed into a corner by one, for sure.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for the advice! Much appreciated!

  16. It is so delightful to learn stuff from you. The political comments are priceless. The sleeping underwater part and not eating fish part remind me of a wonderful children's picture book based on an African folk tale about the hippo.

  17. If they are not meat eaters, why is the one in the picture eating meat?
    Is hippo fighting like dog fighting?
    Last paragraph, did you make up that quote--clever.

  18. well done. The only thing you didn't mention is that hippo's closest relatives are...Whales.

  19. Nice post. I think I saw a couple of these in Wal-Mart when I stopped off on the way home this afternoon. mgb12345, the one in the photo is not "eating" the croc, it's attacking it. Probably got too close to it's calf or family group. These are about the only animals in the Nile crocodile's habitat that they instinctively respect, and usually give a wide berth. Adult hippos are fully capable of, and sometimes do actually kill adult crocs. Their huge tusks, and the ability to open their mouths so far, in addition to their use in pecking order disputes amongst their own species, are actually evolved as weapons against primarily crocodiles, with whom they share the same habitat - the water. Adult female hippos will actually nudge their calves at a very young age into the midst of basking crocs, literally daring one to take a snap. Large crocs could easily make quick work of a hippo calf, but they instinctively know not to try anything. This is nature's way of the hippos instilling the understanding in their young that they should not fear these animals, and that they will one day hold dominance over them.

  20. Good post

    My guess would have been Ross Perot too :-)


  21. Thanks for the information about hippos -- I knew some of it, but I also learned a lot. I like your writing style. You write a great blog.

  22. Haaha, nice post my remembrance of hippos is kinda funny and gross and I'm going to tell ya'll about it.

    When I was about three or four and lived in Ft. Worth TX, we visited the Ft Worth zoo quite often. For some reason my mom always dressed me up like I was baby doll in these foo foo dresses that inevitable gotten eaten on by the goats whilst I was toodling around in the petting zoo.

    Well on this one day (the hippo exhibit was really cool) we visited the Hippopotamus exhibit and the hippos were bathing or cooling in the water and there was only a pipe rail between them and the people, like two rails that stood about three feet high surrounding the hippo pool.

    Ok, this one hippo was in the water sort of like lifting up and sinking again and eventually came completely out of the water (I remember this like it was yesterday) haha. His behind was facing the railing and his tail which was sort of flat and round with like hair around the edge of it was twitching back and forth. Suddenly he blew a back blast that nearly knocked me off my feet! I was covered in hippo poop, it was horrible. It stunk and had lots of hay and was tinged green. Wet diarrhea green type with tons of hay in it was hanging on the pipe type railing and all over me, of course head to toe in my pink chiffon type dress which was now covered in hippo poo! hahaha

    My dad of course (being the scientist/engineer pratical guy that he is) grabbed the water hose around the nearest tree and started squirting me down with it. hahaha

    Ya'll it was so doggone funny, I also had a very weak stomach and was gagging and throwing up whilst my dad showered me in the hose.

    I hope ya'll enjoyed that hippo story.

  23. How messy can you get? Bless your heart!

  24. Yep mgb12345 it was messy and I was very little but can remember nearly every detail.

  25. Great post. Never would I have thought that a lesson about hippos could be so amusing.

    And I want to know how you add your remarks in others' comments.

    [Nick: a sneaky way. It's not perfect, but sort of works. I'll email it to you]

  26. Hippos scare the shit outta me - even before I watched a documentary about how freaking mean they are, I wouldn't go anywhere near the hippos at a zoo. And thank you for awakening that fear again :)

  27. I was one of those in the mud; thought Hippos were happy go lucky pudgy things. Who would have thought, an alligator would be the victim.

  28. This was an enjoyable lesson about hippos. Like you I think I'd rather just stick with 'hippos'. Interesting about the in-built suntan lotion. :)

  29. What a great informative post! I really enjoyed it and you have a great sense of humor!

  30. And all this time I thought the Xtremest of Hippos was MotoMoto with his Xtreme like of Big and Chunky Companions!

    Well, this was very informative. I've been wondering when the Texas Legislature Folks were coming up for air!

    About the Yellow Rows of Taxis...That's next for The Letter Y!

    I like your style of humor and word play! I think you might be a fellow Lexophilliac. I'll be Baaaaack!

  31. Love your woodpecker joke and your hippo tale!

    [Nick: re - I ask myself all the time, if I invite a woodpecker to come into my yard, Woody?]

  32. very entertaining. I learned a lot! {:-Deb

  33. Great post ... did you know they wag their tails when they go "number two"??? Just ask me and my nephew ... we learned that first hand while on a zoo trip years ago. Had to immediately go home. I just threw my clothes away! Yuck, yuck! More information than anybody wanted!

  34. I love learning something new. I love visiting the zoo so this was a great post. I took a historical turn at posting today.

  35. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Xtreme Hippos! What a clever and witty fellow you are!

  36. Xtremely fascinating animal! The Mike Tyson comparison totally cracked me up!

  37. I watched the PBS special on Sunday also...

    Hippos rock!

    When I lived in Florida I used to take my kids to the zoo in Miami all the time to watch the Hippos......

  38. These hippos are gross but I sure hope you are wrong about Jenny! man :P

  39. 5000 pounds, imagine that! I like Rosie O'Donnell part of this post :-)

  40. Sorry...made a BIG boo-boo. I'll try again.
    My favorite:

    Coincidently, members of most State Legislatures have been using a similar technique for years, during lengthy legislative debates.

    Clever guy....very interesting post. kt

  41. Informative and with very amusing side swipes at some less attractive human personalities. I knew hippos were dangerous but didn't know about the inbuilt sunscreen - how very efficient!

  42. I need to get some of those glands for our red-headed Grandchildren...might keep them from getting fried when they're out on the boat...but ... ewwww...

    This whole post was interesting and funny!

    I shall quote hippo quotes with wild abandon now and seem like the queen of arcane hippo knowledge.

    Thanks for making me look good!

    And thanks for linking up this week.


  43. Hippos are surprisingly creatures. Just like you said, they look nice and calm, but they're vicous. My boyfriend's coworker helped save some guy who messed with a hippo and it bit his leg.

  44. Once again, I have been presented with an opportunity to flog my blog. Thank you.

    I once ate a hippopotamus.

  45. This is not only informative with loads of interesting facts, but it's also hilarious. Hey, Nick perhaps we can take some of that pink gloop the hippos secrete and start a moisturizing, sunscreen business.

    I love your human comparisons. Another brilliant post.

  46. You are such an amazing writer.

    You remind me so much of a writer I enjoy in Time. Joel...ummm...Joel someone.


    I'm old.

    I can't remember names.


    Regardless of that.

    You are cool.