Friday, June 10, 2016

About those hippopotamus fighting tusks . . .


A while back I pointed out that a so-called hippo yawn wasn't a yawn - it was a threat display.  I said about the photograph in question:

The hippo is showing its fighting tusks, ivory 'teeth' that can tear great chunks out of a rival hippo, or dismember a crocodile . . . or rip you apart if you provoke it.  That's what its actions are saying to the photographer.  "You worry me.  If you come any closer, I'm going to do something about you - and you won't enjoy it!"

There's more at the link.

Courtesy of Daily Timewaster, here's a video of hippos in a zoo being fed watermelons.  It offers great shots of their fighting tusks (and everything else in their mouth).  The ease with which they crush whole watermelons gives you some idea of the force with which they can bite, too.





Not cuddly critters at all, despite Disney's protestations to the contrary . . .

Peter

6 comments:

Toastrider said...

I remember hearing somewhere that even Steve Irwin was EXTREMELY wary and cautious around hippos.

Consider that. Steve Irwin, who thought it just fine sport to wrestle crocodiles, was wary around hippos.

PapaMAS said...

I think it is extremely sad and frightening that there is some significant percentage of folks who have no idea wild animals can and will hurt them. I learned as a child to distinguish between fantasy and reality - those dancing animated hippos wearing tutus were not behaving anything like how the real thing behaves. But we have adults who have not come to that realization. Sad and dangerous.

Magson said...

@Toastrider -- https://youtu.be/RMk-R4seABo?t=1m29s

Yeah, he was extremely wary of them. I know I keep hearing that they're actually the dealiest animal in Africa -- killing more people each year than any other type of animal on the continent.

Will said...

I don't think I noticed previously that they have cavities in their upper jaw that their fighting tusks hide in when they close their mouth.

I wonder if that might be part of why people tend to not consider them to be especially dangerous?

nono said...

All you need to know about hippo's is that baby hippos can swim in a river full of crocodiles with no fear.

Michael said...

Gayla Peevey I want a hippopotamus for Christmas - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dec9Jb_Ac4