Hippopotamus standing with a calf next to water


Hippopotamuses are found in Africa where they require habitats with water deep enough to protect them from overheating and sunburn. Despite their enormous bulk these aquatic mammals move with grace underwater, their specific gravity allows them to sink and literally run along the bottom. When on land, they can also be surprisingly nimble and speedy, but it’s the battles between males where their power is best demonstrated, since these bloody competitions often result in death.

Scientific name: Hippopotamus amphibius

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Hippopotamus taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Hippopotamus can be found in a number of locations including: Africa. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Hippopotamus distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status


  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Cetartiodactyla
  6. Even-toed ungulates
  7. Hippopotamidae
  8. Hippopotamus
  9. Hippopotamus

BBC News about Hippopotamus

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