Hippopotamidae – Hippopotamuses

Big is beautiful! Sinking is more useful than swimming when your closest relatives are dolphins and whales

There are two main types of hippopotamus, the fabulously large common hippo and its littler counterpart, the reclusive pygmy hippo. The ancient Greeks called them river horses because they spend most of their time in the water, either playing with family members or sleeping.

The most dangerous animal in the African bush is the sunburned hippo out of the water. While they may look slow, hippos can run at speeds of 30km/h (18.6 mph) on land. In the water, they appear to be floating or swimming, but they are actually walking along the riverbed, unperturbed by crocodiles, who know it’s best to stay out of a hippo’s way.