Hippo Scuffle


Two juvenile hippopotamuses play fight at the hippo pools. The younger one on the left climbed up on rocks underwater to get higher ground, but it was easily knocked off by the other hippo many times. Although the bite force of a hippo is over 1800 pounds per square inch(!), these mock fights are half-hearted, mouths never clamping down with gusto. It’s possible that hippos are more careful in these recreational fights as opposed to more motivated bites along the torso. Almost all the hippos are marked by abrasion and bite marks from each other, probably from adults who are uncompromising about maintaining their personal space.

Photographed in situ [1]

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