Hippo taken with Canon 550D Taken at the Toronto Zoo
The Common or River Hippopotamus, long depicted as a slow, gentle creature, will often behave violently when provoked. Extremely agile in the water and rapid runners on land (up to 18mph, or 30kph), hippos breathe air but sleep underwater. Their ears fold over and their nostril flaps close as they submerge. Hippos remain asleep as their bodies automatically resurface and submerge over and over again during the night. “Hippopotamus” comes from a Greek phrase meaning “river horse,” but hippos are actually related to dolphins!