Interview with Hippopotamus

Interview with Hippopotamus

I know you know by now that I can speak with formerly alive and now undead celebrities and have no difficulty interviewing them – see my Interview with Genghis Khan.” And you are probably aware that I have interviewed some strange vegetables who answered my questions in rhyme – see “Psychic Vegetables and the Things They Have Told Me.”

But did you know that I have also interviewed animals? SeeWhy Everyone Should Own a Goat or a Cow or a Pig.” I share all this with you so you won’t be surprised by my latest interview with a hypnotic hippopotamus. Here is how it happened. I had an unexpected day of leisure recently so I spent it at the zoo. It was very hot that day – about 80 degrees in the shade – so there were few people there and no one but me at the hippopotamus compound.

I am NOT photogenic
I am NOT photogenic
Plato the Proboscis monkey
Plato the Proboscis monkey

I heard a voice say, “Good morning, drbj,” but there was no one in sight. Only an enormous hippopotamus.

me – Whoa! Are you talking to me? (I did my best Robert de Niro ‘Taxi Driver’ imitation.) And how do you know my name?

the Hippo – You are well known in the animal kingdom after your series of hubs on weird animals. Plato gave me your name.

me – Plato? the Greek philosopher?

the Hippo No, Plato the Proboscis monkey.

me – I didn’t know the Proboscis monkey had a name. Do you have one, too?

the Hippo – My mother named me Hippolyte but you can call me Hippo. I wanted you to interview me like you did Plato so your readers could learn more about hippopotami – also known as hippopotamuses. We may not be weird animals like those you have written about, but we are very unique.

me – I would be delighted. Where do you come from? I know you aren’t a native Floridian.

Mom and me as a baby
Mom and me as a baby
A markerZambia -
[get directions]

Hippo – (Laughs) No, I was born in Zambia, Africa. Most hippos today live in that region of sub-Sahara Africa.

I was small for my age and weighed only 90 pounds. Most hippo babies weigh 60 to 110 pounds at birth.

Me – Only 90 pounds? How much do you weigh today?

Unique Fact One

Hippo – I weigh about 8,000 pounds – four tons – which is average for a male (bull) hippo today. We are the fourth largest mammals in the world – after whales, elephants and white rhinoceroses.

In zoology, we are considered ‘megafauna’ which means giant animals. Our family name is Hippopotamidae.

me – Were you an ‘only’ hippo?

Hippo – Yes, but only for two years. Then my mother (cow) had another calf. She had one just about every two years. The gestation period is similar to humans – 8 months. Would you like to know another unique fact about a hippo baby – besides our size, that is?

Me – Of course.

Have you heard of a Bull in a China Shop? Wait till you see Jessica the Hippo in the House.

Mom pushing me to the surface
Mom pushing me to the surface

Unique Fact Two

Hippo – We are born underwater. Our mothers have to push us to the surface to breathe. You better believe that was nerve-wracking. But we hippos love water – that’s where we got our name. Hippopotamus is Greek for river horse. Although we are not of the horse family or even the pig family which some folks think we resemble – really big pigs, that is. In fact, until 1909, naturalists who should have known better grouped hippos with pigs.

But our closest relatives – this may surprise you – are cetacean which includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Cetus is Latin and means "whale,” or "large sea animal."

me – Do you spend a lot of your time in the water?

Hippo – You bet! Up to 16 hours a day submerged in a river or lake to keep our enormous  bodies cool under the hot African sun. We are good swimmers, and can hold our breath underwater for up to five minutes.

The water helps keep our body temperature down and our skin from drying out. With the exception of eating, most of our life – childbirth, fighting with other hippos, and reproduction – occurs in the water.

Me – What do you eat?

Hippo – We’re mostly herbivorous so at sunset we leave the water and travel overland to graze on grass. Sometimes we travel as much as 6 miles in one night along single-file pathways, to consume . . .

Mother and Baby Hippo

Unique Fact Three

. . . about 80 pounds of grass apiece. If we are threatened on land, we may run for the water since we can match a human's speed for short distances.

me – How fast are you?

Unique Fact Four

Hippo –We may look ungainly with our stocky, hairless barrel shape and short legs but we can easily outrun a human. Hippos have been clocked at 20 to 30 miles per hour over short distances.

me – I know that the hippopotamus is one of the most aggressive creatures in the world when threatened, and especially ferocious if calves are present. They kill more humans than any other animal in Africa, and will attack anything – even boats. With your tremendous size and ferocity, why would any folks in their right mind want to chase you?

Hippo – Poachers still hunt us for our meat and ivory (our canine teeth). Hippos rarely kill each other even in territorial challenges. Usually a territorial bull and a challenging bachelor will stop fighting when it is clear that one hippo is stronger.

Our worst enemies and the most frequent targets of our aggression include the crocodile which often inhabits the same river as well as lions and spotted (laughing) hyenas.

me – I know you are classified as a semi-aquatic animal meaning you can live in the water or on land. You are so tremendously, er … tremendous, how can you be buoyant enough to easily float along rivers and streams?

The Boss Hippo

Leaping Hippos

Unique Fact Five

Hippo – Our feet are hoofed with membranes stretching between each of our four toes. And there is plentiful fat beneath our skin which is an adaptation to our watery environment. Also we like to dwell in places with permanent water that isn't too deep.

Unique Fact Six

Our specific gravity allows us to sink and walk or run along the bottom of a river. When in deep water, we can propel ourselves by leaps pushing off from the bottom. We can move at speeds up to 5 mph in the water.

Young hippos are more buoyant and often move by swimming – propelling themselves with kicks of their hind legs. Adult hippos typically resurface to breathe every 3 to 5 minutes. The young have to breathe every 2 to 3 minutes.

We don't need no scuba stuff
We don't need no scuba stuff

Unique Fact Seven

Hippo – We close our nostrils when we submerge. But the process of surfacing and breathing is automatic, and even if we are sleeping underwater, we will rise and breathe without waking.

me – That is remarkable. You are indeed unique.

Hippo – Told ya. You may have noticed that our eyes, ears and nostrils are located high on our heads. This allows us to see and breathe while mostly submerged.

me – What other unique fact would you like to mention?

Underwater Hippos

Can you find the hippo?
Can you find the hippo?
Me being the boss
Me being the boss

Unique Fact Eight

Hippo – We possess modified sweat glands that secrete a reddish, moist substance that makes an excellent sunblock and also provides protection against insect bites, particularly mosquitoes. That’s how the myth began that we sweat blood. It’s just our natural red-brown bug repellant and sunblock.

me – Are you territorial animals?

Hippo – Only in the water where a bull – like me – presides over a small stretch of river containing about ten females. Although some pods (herds) contain up to 100 hippos.

Other bachelor hippos are allowed as long as they behave, if you know what I mean. Our territories exist to establish mating rights, and we tend to segregate by gender. Bachelors will be near other bachelors, females with other females, and the bull – me – I’m on my own. When we emerge from the water to graze, we do so individually.

My father – his nickname was Casanova – had a pod of more than 30 cows. He’s my hero.

me – Speaking of mating rights, you mentioned earlier that everything occurs under water including childbirth and reproduction. Does that mean . . . ?

Me. Do you see a resemblance?
Me. Do you see a resemblance?

Unique Fact Nine

Hippo . . . Yes, mating occurs in the water with the female submerged for most of the encounter with her head emerging periodically to take in air. We are one of the few mammals that mate and give birth under water together with Cetaceans and Sirenia – aquatic, herbivorous mammals that include dugongs and manatees (sea cows).

me – What is your lifespan?

Hippo – Typically, a hippo may live 40 to 50 years. Donna the Hippo, who lives at the Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana, is the oldest living hippo in captivity. She is 57. But keep that to yourself. She is sensitive about her age. The oldest was Tanga the Hippo who lived in a zoo in Munich, Germany and died in 1995 at the age of 61.

One of Noah's first decisions


Important warning!

Hippo – No matter how hot and sweaty you become when you visit Africa, do not take a dip to cool off in a river that has been inhabited by hippos. Even if the hippos are no longer there.

me – Because of the crocodiles?

Hippo – Yes, but also because we hippos spend most of our time in the river so we do in the river what bears do in the woods. Our defecation over time creates enormous deposits of organic matter upon and along the river beds.

me – Speaking of defecation – since you brought the subject up – I have noticed that hippos spin their tails while defecating in order to distribute the fecal matter over the greatest possible area. Why?

Unique Fact Ten

Hippo – We verbally communicate with each other through grunts and bellows but the non-verbal spinning tails maneuver is exercised to mark our territory. We are also retromingent – we urinate backwards for the same reason.

me – Thank you, Hippolyte, for telling me even more than I needed to know.

Hippo –The pleasure was all mine. Now watch your step!

© Copyright BJ Rakow 2011. All rights reserved.

Just for Fun


• A red hippopotamus represented the Ancient Egyptian god, Set, who was believed to be the god of the desert, storms, darkness and chaos.

• The Behemoth from the Book of Job is thought to be based on a hippopotamus.

• The hippopotamus was one of many exotic animals brought to Rome to fight gladiators by the emperor, Philip I the Arab, to commemorate Rome's 1000-year-anniversary in 250 AD. Silver coins with a hippo's image were minted that year.

• The Hippopotamus Defense is a solid but unadventurous opening system used in the game of Chess.

• The first zoo hippo in modern history was Obaysch who was captured on an island on the White Nile when he was less than one year old.

He arrived at the London (England) Zoo in 1850, where he attracted up to 10,000 visitors a day and inspired a popular song, “The Hippopotamus Polka.”

• Zulu warriors preferred to be as brave as a hippopotamus. In 1888, the Zulu anthem sounded like "Een-gonyama Gonyama! Invooboo! Yah-bo! Yah-bo! Invooboo!" Translation: "He is a lion. Yes, he is better than a lion – he is a hippopotamus."

• The Toledo (Ohio) Zoo Hippoquarium features a 360,000 gallon pool built for underwater viewing. In 1987, researchers were able to tape, for the first time, an underwater hippo birth.

• The Walt Disney film, “Fantasia,” featured a hippopotamus ballerina dancing to music from the opera, “La Gioconda.”

• Hippos have inspired a number of popular board games and children’s books including Hasbro’s “Hungry Hungry Hippos” and “Chatty Cherry Hippo.”

• In 2006 the hippopotamus was identified as a vulnerable species. Most hippos in zoos were born in captivity.

• Hippos inspired the novelty Christmas song, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.”

“Madagascar” is an animated film series produced by DreamWorks Animation. One of the animal heroes is a hippopotamus.

• Animated children’s television shows have included “Peter Potamus” with its hippo protagonist;George and Martha” featuring a hippo couple; “Pat et Stanley,” a French animated series (Pat is a hippo and Stanley is a dog); “Happy Hippos” produced in Germany; and the well-known American series, “Sesame Street,” featuring a hippo who lives in the country.

• The Nintendo Company published Game Boy adventures of hippos in 2001 and 2007.

• In the late 1980s, Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was a Colombian drug lord and elusive cocaine trafficker. He kept four hippos in a private menagerie at his luxurious estate east of Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia, South America. After Escobar was captured, the hippos were left untended on his estate. By 2007, the 4 animals had multiplied to 16 and were roaming the area for food in the nearby Magdalena River. “Ay, Dios mio!”

Ode to Hippopotamus

I saw a hippo in the zoo . . . If you go there you’ll see one, too . . . It walked on land like you and me . . . And then on the ground under the sea.

(The hippo actually walks underwater on a riverbed, but that didn’t rhyme.)

© Copyright BJ Rakow 2011. All rights reserved.

More by this Author

  • Pig Facts and Pig Trivia

    Pigs are ranked number four in animal intelligence and can learn tricks faster than dogs. True!

  • Cow Facts and Cow Trivia

    Your image of cows is probably similar to mine – gentle, placid animals looking at you with those large, soft cow eyes and contentedly chewing their cud. But about 20 people a year are killed by cows in the United...

  • Simple Symbol Personality Test

    Now that you have examined your personality by taking (a) the Pig Personality Test, (b) the Celebrity Personality Test, and (c) the One-Question Personality Test, it’s time to take a look at the Simple Symbol...

Comments 119 comments

annaw profile image

annaw 5 years ago from North Texas

This could be a great educational tool for children, that is also fun. I loved the dialogue and the way you structured the entire Hub. Great job. Good writer ; you definitely have what it takes to capture adult interest.

tnderhrt23 profile image

tnderhrt23 5 years ago

I love this hub, drbj! Definitely a fun, educational read! Today I became more Hippo-Literate!

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Thoroughly enjoyed. i loved it. marked up and useful,

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

I love this hub. It´s very educational and well written. It´s also funny how you interviewed the hippo. Thanks for sharing.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee

up and beautiful. Well written and an interesting read. We used to sing "I want to be a Hippopotamus for Christmas" in the Mens Barbershop Corale...

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

He seems like a very interesting guy, your hippo friend.

Thanks for another brilliant hub.

Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 5 years ago from Los Angeles

My dear drbj,

What a great talent you have! Only YOU can make even a Hippo sound fascinating:-))) Loved it!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

I like the hippos a lot better now that I understand them thanks to your brilliant hub. I sure won't try to outrun one. Thanks for the informative and entertaining hub.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you for your visit, annaw, and the gracious comments. Yes, I agree children could learn painlessly about hippos from this hub - and so can adults. Who are even a bigger challenge to teach - do you agree?

And thanks for loving the dialogue and structure. Your comments have what it takes to capture MY interest!

If you enjoy the interview format, please take a look at my 12 interviews with undead celebrities. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, tnderhrt23, for loving this hub. That makes two of us! Fun and educational? That's my goal, m'dear. Delighted you are now more hippo-literate.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Twilight Lawns (what an interesting name). Thank you for enjoying and loving this hub, and the up and useful. You are obviously a reader of discretion and intelligence!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

How nice to meet you, Thelma. Especially since you love this hub - wow! that's 4 'loving this hubs' in a row.

Thanks for also finding it 'funny, educational and well written.' It was my extreme pleasure to share.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, samsons, how nice to have you visit. Thanks for the very kind comments: 'up and beautiful' are two of my favorites, you know.

'Well written and an interesting' are also on my list of faves. Did you really sing "I want to be a Hippopotamus for Christmas?" What a treat that must have been for your audience.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

My day isn't complete until I hear from you, christopher. Thanks for the 'brilliant' comment and enjoying my interesting hippo friend. You never know who you will run into at the zoo. Or any place else for that matter!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Dear Petra.

Have I told you how lovely it is to have you back on HP. I'm delighted by your presence and pray things are going as well as possible for you.

Delighted that I made the hippo sound fascinating for you.

A great talent you say? Well, it takes one to know one m'luv.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

So happy you understand the hippos, Pamela - they are interesting and unique animals. And thank you for the 'brilliant.'

No need to thank me, my dear, it was my pleasure.

De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK

You PROMISED that if I gave you this interview you would not publish it. You said that it was for your own private files. How COULD you? ;-)))

Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

drbj - Thanks for getting my day off with a smile :) (DeGreek's comment got me laughing too!) Who'd have thunk that the ungainly hippo could be such a graceful aquatic creature! I thought that was only in Disney cartoons, but the vids proved me wrong. Great stuff!

amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK

That's interesting: hippos are more closely related to whales and dolphins than pigs.

This is a good format and a fun way to learn things. Up and useful.

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

I said, "Chelsea, do you want to hear some interesting things about the hippopotamus?"

Chelsea replied, "There's something interesting about hippopotamuses?"

And I showed her there was!

We enjoyed this very much, and in the end, she agreed that the hippo was indeed, a very interesting creature.

We, of course, found the bathroom activities the most interesting of all! :O)

We ditto the "brilliant".

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Drbj - this was really fun (as your interviews always are:) and I loved the Sky View video best! What a neat animal - I love animals and I guess that is why I have 14 of them:) 9 are birds so it's not as bad as it sounds - I love them all. Im a little worried I might become a hoarder! LOL! I won't even ask my husband if I can have a hippo:) but not I'd love to.

The picture - of that creature laying next to the dog with the pink blanket is too much! Awwww!

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

Terrific hub! Thank you.

thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

Fantastic hub! I learned some new things about these great animals and your design of this hub will help me remember this! I loved the photos and the videos; the hippo’s looks so cute and almost adorable when they swim. I just love these animals with their big body’s and short legs! (That only applies to animals:))) But I prefere to see them like this and not in reality in the wild! Thanks for this wonderful hub, your interview technique are awesome! Tina

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

I loved it !! Someone said that it was a good educational hub for children..True.. I learned a lot too. The videos were great..I esp. liked Jessica. Your wit is so unique. Thank you. Voted up-up and away !

Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

The video about Jessica is fascinating! She's no dummy and knows a good thing when she sees one! A lot of education in your hippo hub and it would be great way to teach it in a classroom!

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

All I ever wanted to know about hippos and then some. You're on a roll. Have I ever told you about my conversation with "Big Bass"...

The Frog

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

OMG, Dear Dimi, are you channeling Hippolyte Hippo?

It's true that I promised him if he gave me this interview I would not publish the details of his affairs - after all he does have ten cows.

But I did not promise not to publish other details which you are reading here. All innocent revelations as you can see. Tell him not to worry; my lips are sealed!!!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

It has been my distinct pleasure, Hillary, to start your day off with a smile and I thank Dimi for his contribution.

I totally agree with you. Before I began my hippo research, I had no idea what extraordinary animals they were. Leaping and jumping and walking on the bottom of the riverbed. Who knew?

To say nothing of their grace and charm as per the delicate (?) ballerina. Thanks for the visit and your 'great stuff' comment. Hippo will be pleased. Dimi, too.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Strange, isn't it, amillar? Hippos are closely related to whales and dolphins even though they more resemble pigs. Enormous pigs, that is.

Thanks for finding this hub a fun way and format to learn from, as well as the 'up and useful' which are most appreciated.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Sue. Hi, Chelsea.

Sue - Chelsea is beginning to sound more and more like a stand-up comedienne with her funny replies to your straight man/woman questions.

Delighted you were able to show her how interesting hippos really are.

Thanks for enjoying this romp including the outhouse humor and especially, finding it all 'brilliant.' You are, too, for recognizing that of course.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

That video of Jessica the Hippo was special, wasn't it, RH. Thanks for loving it and finding my interviews 'really fun.' They are really fun for me to write, too.

Writing that you love animals is a gigantic under statement. You have 14? 9 birds and 5 unidentified pets? I do believe that adding a hippo to that menagerie could put a strain on your marriage. Unless you own a lake for the hippo to hang out in and mucho acres of grassland for its diet.

I agree with you - that shot in the video of the dog lying next to the hippo on the blanket is a gigantic awwwwwwwww!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Paradise, for visiting and the 'terrific hub' comment. Happy you enjoyed it.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Delighted you learned some new things about the hippo, Tina. And that the hub's design was an aid to remember them.

Isn't it interesting how graceful and agile this enormous animal looks when it is underwater?

So you love animals with big bodies and short legs? I'll keep that in mind.

Thank you for the 'fantastic' the 'wonderful' and the 'awesome.' Your visit is much appreciated.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you for loving this, Ruby. I tried to make it appealing to both children and adults as well as educational. Delighted you enjoyed the video and Jessica in particular. She IS a hippo star!

Thank you also for the 'unique wit' comment and the up, up and away.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Happy you enjoyed the fascinating 'Jessica' video, Fossillady. You are spot on; Jessica is one smart cookie, I mean hippo.

Thanks for recognizing that education - about almost anything - is so much easier to absorb and retain when it is presented with humor. That's something I have always attempted to do.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks for stopping by, dear Frog. Delighted you found all you ever wanted to know about hippos and then some. It's gratifying to be on a roll.

Whenever you find the time, I would be happy to hear about your conversation with "Big Bass"... Was that a fish or a musical instrument?

CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Amazing hub on animals drbj! And I didn't know that you were such a Doctor Dolittle? Can you chat with a cheetah next, as they are my favs!

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Wow what a wonderful hub. I have learned so much and had so much fun reading it while learning. I really think that I should go and read your other hubs too. Thanks so much for all this great information and told in a great way!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, CM. You mean you didn't know that DoLittle was my maiden name? Heh, heh. Who do you think taught that famous doctor how to talk to animals?

But enough about me. Thanks for enjoying MY 'amazing hub.' I didn't know cheetahs were your faves - I promise to give that some thought.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Susan for your gracious remarks. It is my pleasure to have you visit here - and appreciate my efforts.

Yes, absolutely, by all means go and read my other hubs, too. Shouldn't take too long - there are only 117 others. Some of the funniest are about crazy laws, interviews with Dead Celebrities and Fokk University (Fokk U) among others.

And the various personality tests!

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Drbj - I have gotten a request for one of your interviews! Check out my new hub! I have to figure out how to turn your name blue!

attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

I shall return when i have more time for my errant pupil. From Sir.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

No problem, RH, as long as you turn my link and not me blue! Copy my name, drbj, from my profile (Control C) and paste it where appropriate using Control V. And thanks for linking - next to writing, one of my favorite things.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

To Sir with Love - no problem. Hippolyte and I await your return.

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Thanks! The hub heroes helped me!

Lela and I have been planning this for a few days - I couldn't wait for you to see it:)!!! So fun!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

RH - Did I mention that your interview was very clever in addition to being very funny? Well it was and it is.

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Thank you so much! I love this hub place:)

attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

I was just Poitiering around when i noticed your Lulu of a comment. (a very funny one, bye the way) I didn't expect to suddenly be able to pontificate about Hippos, but now i'm an expert i can't wait for some unsuspecting person to bring it up so that i can amaze them with my new found knowledge. I played soccer against a couple of Hippos last night but they couldn't run thirty miles an hour. More thirty hours a mile. Oh well back to the drawing board. Cheers

akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

Beautifully done as always, BJ - and what a darling pic of the mother pushing me (the hippo I mean) to the surface! Priceless!

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

8,000 pounds!? Amazing. I like the etymology you provided: River Horse. Interesting. I had no idea a hippopotamus could run that fast either.

Your Hub is terrific in every way. I enjoyed it very much.

nicomp profile image

nicomp 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

This is a great format! I love reading your interviews. You got a referral from a monkey? You must be doing something right

"megafauna" lol. They don't get much megga-er.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Now, Keith, you can pontificate away in your best pedagogic manner about hippo facts others may not know. Soon others may refer to you as the Hippo King.

I'll get you started with a hippo joke: What do you call a hippo who always thinks he's sick? A hippo-chondriac! You think that's bad, wait till you read this: Why are all hippos Irish? They are descended from the O'Potamus family.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Dear Audrey - Thanks for stopping by. I was beginning to worry about you as I hadn't read a new hub of yours in over two hours.

Thanks m'luv for the beautifully done and the priceless. I love that underwater hippo and baby photo, too.

BTW - I haven't seen you at my previous new hub, "One Question Personality Test." I'm looking forward to your reaction!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

I was amazed, too, James when I learned that hippos weigh on average 4 tons and can run faster than we can. That's a lotta hippo. Delighted you appreciated the etymology and other facts.

Thank you more than I can say for your sublime comments. You and they are much appreciated.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

nicomp - a treasured comment from the esteemed nicomp of over three full lines - I'm overwhelmed.

Thank you for loving to read my interviews, the format and the accolades. Hippolyte and Plato thank you, too. Hippo is the megafauna; Plato is the meganasal fauna.

Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

drbj, you've picked one of my favourite animals to interview. Thumbs up! How great are hippopotami...? I once saw a pygmy hippopotamus swimming at the Sydney aquarium and he was a darling.

I've had a soft spot for these animals since prep grade when we used to sing a little song in class, which I can still recall:

Once Mr. Hippopotamus and Mrs. Hippopotamus..

Together they got on a bus and went out for tea.

What a silly thing to remember..:)

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Very interesting... now I really want a hippopotomus for Christmas!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Jane. My vaunted ESP must have been working overtime to select one of your faves, the hippo, to interview. Thank you for the thumbs up.

I can understand the attraction the hippo has for you, pygmy or otherwise. Despite their massive size, there is something about these mega-sized animals that stirs and appeals to us.

Thanks for sharing your charming and not silly childhood memory of singing the Mr. and Mrs. Hippopotamus song. I can visualize you now! How cute you were/are.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

I will submit your hippo order today, barbergirl. Do you have a hippo-size pool available - about an acre in size with fresh running water?

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I will have to work on getting one... but I will check into that so I can get my hippo ordered right away ;)

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

You’ve mentioned everything there is to know about this aggressive creature, drbj, and, as always, absolutely brilliant. In my view animals and their behavior are as interesting as humans and human-behavior. I also believe there is an animal or three hiding in all of us. Fortunately not a hippopotamus in me, and I don’t see one in you either.

BTW, instead of saying something is only the tip of the iceberg, we say in my language (Afrikaans) – direct translated: “It is only the ears of the hippopotamus.”

I still believe your interviews should be published (e-books). Take care!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

We are definitely on the same page, Martie, since I, too, find animal behavior as mesmerizing as that of humans - some of whom act like animals some of the time.

I admire hippos but as you point out, I do not want to be one

Thanks for sharing that saying about the ears of the hippo - it's completely new to me and I find it even more descriptive than tip of the iceberg.

One day I may put my 'Interviews' together in an ebook as you suggest. Wishing you a very Happy Mother's Day!

Tankadin profile image

Tankadin 5 years ago

Great interview! I really enjoyed the videos too. Happy Mother's Day!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Tankadin, for enjoying the interview with Hippo and the videos. And thanks for the Mother's Day greeting, too.

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

It's so nice that you don't discriminate among species when it comes to taking interviews. :)

Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hi Doc, I will have to read all your interviews as they are in my favorite style--informative and humorous.

I once entered a triathlon with a hippo. He trounced me on land both running and on the bike, but I caught up in the water. He was delayed by his grooming routine and since I held my breath the whole way, I outdistanced the other contestants as well. =:)

MarilynMorrison profile image

MarilynMorrison 5 years ago

Thanks for this.

almasi profile image

almasi 5 years ago

A brilliant hub.

What wonderful creatures (and Creator by extension) considering they can rise up to the surface to breathe without interrupting their sleep!!

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America

I do enjoy this Hub and its interview format very much and have read it several times. The video of the hippo asleep with blanket and pillow, and a dog friend beside her is gorgeous.

And Plato's arm in his photo foreground is the most human I've seen on an ape or monkey. Uncanny.

Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Oh this made me smile. What a unique and wonderful way to teach lessons. I don't think anything else about Hippopotami could have held my attention they way this did. Voted up/useful and awesome

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

AWWWWWWWWWWWE! I want a "jessica" - she is amazing with her own pillow and blanket. Outstanding and very creative. I know what I want Santa to bring me next Xmas.

I can't believe that a 4 ton hippo can run 20-30 mph. That gives us all hope :) The best hub! I expect to see this nominated for a hub nugget and you deserve a gold nugget. Gratefully yours. bookmarking and forwarding to FB and a few friends. Rated up and every button is checked!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

You are absolutely correct, FP, I do not discriminate against species, human or otherwise, when conducting interviews. And I never met a hippo I didn't like.

Thanks for stopping by to visit Hippo - I know he appreciates it; he's such a ham. I mean, hippo!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Yo, Winsome, delighted that your favorite style is my favorite style - articles that are informative as well as humorous.

Thanks for sharing your triathlon experience with a hippo. Was his name Hippolyte by chance. That remark about his taking time out of the swimming portion of the race for grooming sounds suspiciously like my elegant (?) buddy.

Congrats on the win and thanks for the illuminating visit.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Marilyn. Thanks for finding Hippo and your visit. You are most welcome. But you ought to visit Plato, the Proboscis Monkey, too, so he won't be jealous. :)

Crifmer profile image

Crifmer 5 years ago from Teaneck, NJ

I LOVE this. Now stalking, er, following you so I can read your other interviews. Wonderful.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Crifmer, for loving this, and following me. Delighted to have you read my other 11 or 12 interviews (I've lost count) with undead celebrities and let me know what you think. Thank you for the 'wonderful' too.

Jenny Calender profile image

Jenny Calender 5 years ago

That photo of the hippo and zebra is just tooo cute!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, almasi. Thank you for the 'brilliant hub' comment.

Yes, hippos are remarkable and wonderful creatures and it is amazing that they have the ability to surface to breathe without awaking while they are underwater and sleeping.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Patty, for enjoying this interview with Hippo.

I am fond of the format, too, and plan to do more until I run out of fascinating subjects ... or energy, whichever comes first.

Delighted you enjoyed the video of the hippo in the house with her dog buddy. I couldn't believe my good luck when I found it.

I won't tell Plato, though about your comment concerning his 'uncanny human-looking' arm. He already thinks he IS human. Thanks for your gracious comments.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

So happy I made you smile, Fay, that's one of my favorite things to do. And you are spot on - using humor is a unique, wonderful way to impart information. I'm delighted you enjoyed it.

Thank you for your kind comments and pushing all the buttons. I felt it from here!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

By all means, Audrey, you need a live Jessica hippo in your house - as long as you have a 360,000 gallon swimming pool in your back yard. I already placed your order with Santa - a very close friend of mine.

I was surprised, too, to learn how speedy a hippo can be. I always thought of them as these huge, ungainly creatures who can just barely amble along. Isn't it surprising what a little research can turn up?

Thank you, m'dear, for your lovely and exceptional comments: 'Outstanding and very creative' are two of my favorite descriptions. And I am truly grateful that you are bookmarking and forwarding to your hordes of friends. With your charm and personality I know you have more than just a few of them. My burttons thank you, too. They crave attention. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Jenny, thanks for stopping by. I kinda like the hippo/zebra buddies photo, too. Probably because it's so incongruous and the hippo looks like - if he were really hungry - he could swallow the zebra whole. If he were carnivorous, that is.

epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...well your 'interview' series is now legendary all over the cyber universe and as you know I am one of your biggest fans - I send 'everyone' here because like I just said to HELLO HELLO - you are in a class of your very own .....and your poetic commentary towards me is legendary too - what wit, what charm you have - frankly there is no one quite like DRBJ - and I'm glad that we met (over a year ago) --- love your hippos - they couldn't have received a nicer tribute .......

also some suggestions for further interviews down the road - John Wilkes Booth or Lee Harvey Oswald

Toby Simon profile image

Toby Simon 5 years ago from Kansas City, Missouri

haha..i thought that hippo would eat that zebra! anyway nice hub..

myi4u profile image

myi4u 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Incredible hub! It's so easy to understand. At first, I thought it was going to be serious kind of article. However, I am glad that I read it and I am going to continue reading your other hubs about weird animals. Nice!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Welcome, Colin, to one of my biggest and fondest fans. You never fail to make an appearance at one of my hubs with superlative, simpatico, spectacular semantics.

You and your exceptional epigrams are the epitome of poetic expression, and I appreciate your gracious acceptance of my poetic (?) comments. I also appreciate your bruiting my name and my hubs about - bruit away!

Has it really been a year since we met on HP? Well, as the frog says, "Time's fun when you're having flies." Or something like that.

Hippo and I thank you for your most gracious comments and I will take your suggestions under advisement. Isn't that what politicians usually say?

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Toby, it's nice to make your acquaintance. Hippo restrains himself when he visits with his zebra buddy. Besides he wasn't hungry having just finished a dinner of about 80 pounds of grass. And because he doesn't eat meat ... yet. Thanks for the visit and enjoying the hub.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, myi4u - clever name. Thank you for stopping by and the kind comments. 'Incredible' and 'easy-to-understand' are two of my favorites.

So you thought I was going to be serious? Wait till you read my 5 hubs on "Crazy Laws" and 12 "Interviews" with dead celebrities, "Fokk University," and other "Weird Animals" hubs. :)

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

My friend, you made this hub so beautiful. I love this animal. Only you who can make such an interesting interview. You always be special on HubPages. Thanks for writing this and share with us. Rated up as always and I make it double with my "VOTE". God bless you!


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I can't help it. I've wanted a hippo every Christmas.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, prasetio - you already know how much I appreciate reading your hubs and having you visit me, too.

Hippo and I thank you for the double 'up' as well as your other gracious comments. God bless you, too.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hey, everyone. Click the link on Wesman Todd Shaw's comment and you can view the You Tube version of "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas."

Thank you, Wesman, for adding that remarkable ditty - I searched but couldn't find it originally. You added the ice cream to the cake!

So you still want a hippo? Maybe we could get a better price if we both ordered one!

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

There's be plenty to go 'round. I've got a nice pond with no crocs in it. I'm afraid the children in the area would eventually all disappear, as would the adults. . . .maybe it's a bad idea.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

You are the voice of reason, Wesman. We will just have to confine our hippo adoration to the zoo or our visits to Zambia.

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I'm afraid you are correct. Many Kudos on the wildlife hubs, I linked your profile in a hub I did recently called "What Is Flatpicking." I interviewed a random person that lives in my head, and because it was mostly a Q and A thing I thought I'd bring you up for anyone that isn't aware of you.

Gimme more wildlife interviews!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Your wish is my command, Wesman. Thanks for the linking -it was really a tribute.

Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Amazing wild life hub, as usual your fantastic sense of humour and the easy to consume bites of info are delectable. Well researched and compiled as usual. You are a master in these sort of informational hubs. Voted up/awesome!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Dere Docter Docmo, drbj is teeching me to rite but I still have sum trubble with speling. I appresh ... apreshiate ... am grateful for yur grate coments.

drbj says u r one of herr favrit comenturs and she said two thank you fur herr two. So thanks frum both of us and fur the votes, two. Yurs trooly, Hippo

mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

This is an absolutely wonderful hub, drbj, entertaining, humorous, and educational. The pictures and videos are excellent. Jessica is unbelievable! Fantasia is one of my favorite movies ever!

Thank you!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Me, too, sweetmysterylady, I adore Jessica and the hippos dancing in 'Fantasia' are still my favorite film ballerinas.

Thank you for the exceptional adjectives - all my favorites, you know. Delighted you enjoyed the hub, the photos and the videos. Thank you!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Thank you drbj for this insightful interview. I was married to one of these once.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Micky, my dear, you made me laugh out loud at your short but incisive comment - that was very funny! I guess the next time I want to add some meaningful hippo information to my hub, I will touch base with you beforehand since you have personal experience. :)

kyenny0927 profile image

kyenny0927 5 years ago from Ohio

LOL I thoroughly enjoyed this hub! Thank you so much for putting it up! It was educational, and funny, and heartwarming all at the same time! LOVED it and voted it EVERYthing! :)

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Dear kyenny - With a comment like that above I could not wish for more. 'Educational, funny and heartwarming' are some of my favorite expressions. Thank you for choosing them, loving it and voting 'everything.' You are sooooooo WISE!

kyenny0927 profile image

kyenny0927 5 years ago from Ohio

You are very welcome and thank YOU for writing it! I truly enjoyed it! :)

ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

This was a very interesting, well researched hub. I happen to be facinated with hippo's. Good job.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Me, too, ruffridyer, hippos have always strangely fascinated me. I guess it's a combination of their naïve looking facial features (when their jaws are closed) and their massive piano-size bodies.

Thanks for the commendable comments.

tnvrstar profile image

tnvrstar 5 years ago from doha, qatar

What an interesting wonderful Hub. Nice Humor. Loved it

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Why, thank you, tnvrstar, delighted that you found this interesting, wonderful, with nice humor, and loving it. That's exactly what I hoped you woud say.

Take a look at my Interviews with dead celebrities, too, and let me know what you think.

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi drbj, this hub is my introduction to you and your hubs, thoroughly enjoyed it! very educational and well written, brilliant, I am off to read more of your stuff!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

It's a pleasure to meet you, Movie Master, thank you for finding me. And also for your kind comments. I am especially partial to 'brilliant," so we are best friends already. Please do read more of my stuff and let me know what you think.

upal19 profile image

upal19 5 years ago from Dhaka

Excellent write up. Those are wonderful creature of nature. You have sketched them up wonderfully too. Enjoyed it too much.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, upal, for the visit and the gracious comments. I agree with you wholeheartedly - hippos are indeed wonderful creatures. Delighted you enjoyed the read.

ar.colton profile image

ar.colton 5 years ago from Vancouver, B.C.

This is wonderful. Hippos are my current favourite animal but they're not a very popular one (as I'm sure you found in your research) so glad to have a Hippo Hub!

This format is really quite genious. Can't wait to read more!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

It's a pleasure to meet another hippo fancier, ar. They are very unique animals and as you mentioned, not the most well known. Delighted you found this hub; thank you for the 'ingenious' or is it 'genius'? I'll gladly accept either. Please let me know what you think about the orther 14 or 15 'Interviews.' I've already lost count.

ar.colton profile image

ar.colton 5 years ago from Vancouver, B.C.

I'm Canadian but went to HS in the US and sometimes add u's (i guess o's in this case) where they aren't necessary. lol. You can take either though. I'm really enjoying them.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

I promise not to hold your Canadian-ness against you, ar. Joke! And in your honour I shall change my usual behaviour when spelling these words. Thanks for reading and enjoying my interviews.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

OMG - as I was looking for your chocolate hub - I came across this. I love love love hippos with all my heart and soul and even have a bit of a hippo collection. I'm sure if we have more than one life time I was previously a hippo - and loved it. Whew! Thanks a million for putting everything I can possibly need in a hub I can bookmark.

BTW one of my future trips is to Cameroon where the hippos are supposed to be so friendly you can pet them so I did the research and here are all these hippos coming to town to visit and getting petted...ah, a future dream to do hippo-patting.

Thanks a million and rated up and more!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, BK - so you may have been a hippo in a prior life? Hey, anything is possible my dear. I totally agree with your collecting hippos - they are special creatures. I collect pigs myself but that's another story. Delighted you found so much of hippo interest here. Wouldn't it be a hoot to live near a river and have a pet like Jessica (in the video)? You are more than welcome and I hope your hippo-patting in person dream comes true. Thank you for the visit, the gracious comments, and the Up.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article