For many animals living in the wild, life can be constantly in the balance. All over the world there are carnivores looking for a meal, and this means preying on other animals for the nutrition that they need. Predators are usually equipped with plenty of armaments to help them take down and devour their prey, making them very dangerous animals to be around. Herbivores, animals that eat vegetation, can also be very dangerous though. They are often very large and equipped with defences that help keep other potentially dangerous animals at bay.
A prime example is the enormous hippopotamus. Although they spend their time cooling off in water and grazing on vegetation, they are not to be messed with. They are large, powerful and will also be very aggressive should anybody get too close for comfort. They are attributed with the deaths of many people in Africa and always need to be treated with the respect that they deserve. Regardless, they are still wonderful to observe from a safe distance.
The hippopotamus is as amazing as it is large and has long been a major attraction for crowds from all over the world. They are genuinely fascinating creatures and they are surrounded by some incredible facts.
Hippopotamus Fact #10: Related to Whales
Evolution constantly, but slowly, changes how a species is adapted to the environment that it lives in. Where possible and necessary, it will continue making a species better suited to its environment over time. It will also help the species adapt when the environment it lives in changes around it. When there are different populations of a species, each population will adapt according to the environment they live in. This can lead to some surprising relationships between animals that appear to be very different.
In this case the hippo is, in fact, a close relative of the whale. Although it may be surprising to begin with, it’s not that shocking once you think about it as both are aquatic mammals after all. Their common ancestor would have been more similar to a hippo than a whale. One population of this ancestor would have started spending more time in the water and eventually evolved to be the sea-faring giants we know today.