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Recreating Nature Indoors

Ever wonder who made the dioramas in our mammal halls? Read all about the artists who created these wonderful scenes. Learn more >

The Making of a Diorama

The Habitat Views video considers ways of looking at dioramas today, and documents the creation of several new displays. Take a look over on our  YouTube channel >

Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Get special access to the Museum's vast collections on these exclusive tours! 
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Mammalogy Contacts

Jim Dines
Collections Manager
(213) 763-3400
jdines@nhm.org

David Janiger
Curatorial Assistant
(213) 763-3369
djaniger@nhm.org

 

Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus amphibius (Linnaeus, 1758)

Hippopotamus diorama in the African Mammal Hall

Scene:

 Athi River, Kenya

Sponsor:

 John Jewett Garland

Background artist:

 Robert Russell Reid

Also present:

 olive baboon (Papio anubis),
Bare-faced Go-away Bird (Corythaixoides personatus),
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta),
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis),
Saddle-bill Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis),
Spotted Dikkop (Burhinus capensis),
Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides),
Rueppell’s Starling (Lamprotornis purpuropterus),
White-browed Coucal (Centropus superciliosus)

Hippos are gregarious, living in groups of up to 40 animals known as a pod, a herd, a school, or a bloat. Hippos average 11 feet in length, 5 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 7000 lbs. They can run at up to 35 mph for short distances.

The second largest land mammal (after the elephant), hippos are now known to be the closest living relatives of whales.


Biological Information

Range map for the Hippopotamus

Range:

Scattered pockets in sub-Saharan Africa but no longer in South Africa

Habitat:

Rivers and lakes

Status:

Vulnerable to intensive hunting but well represented in many game parks

Diet:

Grasses and other available vegetation

Further information about this species may be found on the Animal Diversity Web page for hippopotamus.