What I want for Christmas!
|Copyright: Riaan van der Merwe (mrvdm1)
|Date Taken: 2004-04-10|
|Camera: Fujifilm Finepix S5000|
|Exposure: f/4.9, 1/338 seconds|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2004-11-08 1:52|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|This hippo is one of a few that can be found at the Lion & Rhino Research Centre. He was just enjoying the water on a hot winters day. Luckily I could get quite close, and the shot was easy. Hop you enjoy it.|
Historically, hippos have been found throughout all of sub-Saharan Africa, but most populations have been reduced or exterminated. Currently, the only large populations of hippos occur in the Nile river valley of East Africa.
The preferred habitat of this species is deep water with adjacent reed beds and grasslands.
3000 to 4500kg
The hippopotamus is typically a slate brown color to muddy brown, with purplish hues often visible. A massive animal, it measures 1500mm in height at the shoulder and has a length of 4310-5160 mm, of which about 560mm is tail. The eyes and nostrils protrude, allowing the animal to see and breathe while otherwise submerged in the water.
The hippopotamus is capable of breeding year round, but it experiences seasonal breeding peaks during February and August. The birth of young coincides with months of peak rainfall, October and April. The female hippo experiences a three day estrus, during which she is mated by the resident bull. After a gestation of 227-240 days, the cow gives birth to a single calf, weighing 27-50 kg. Calves nurse underwater and are frequently seen riding upon their mothers' backs while the mother is in the water. Males reach sexual maturity in the wild between 6 and 14 years of age, whereas females are capable of breeding at 7-15 years of age.
The hippopotamus typically sleeps during the day and maintains activity at night. It is not, however, strictly nocturnal. Hippos may cover up to 33 km of water each night in search of food. They eat mainly the grasses along the shores of the rivers they inhabit, but they have been seen grazing up to 3.2 km from the shoreline.
Hippos are extremely graceful in the water, despite their clumsy appearance on land. Their specific gravity allows them to sink to the bottom of rivers and literally walk or run along the bottom.
Hippos may occur singly or in groups of up to 30 animals. The central core of social groups appears to be females with their dependent offspring. Adult males vie for control of these herds. Aggression between males is intense. The hippos use their long canine teeth as weapons, and death often results from fighting between males. Most adult male hides are covered with scars from injuries incurred during such fights. Losing males are often relagated to a solitary existence.
The hippopotamus is strictly a vegetarian. Its diet consists mainly of terrestrial grasses.
The hippopotamus has been heavily hunted. In 1995 it was listed on CITES appendix II. One subspecies, Hippopotamus amphibius tschadensis, is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN 1996 Redlist.
willie, LordPotty, marhowie, gerhardt, RAP, PDP, Callie has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
- [2004-11-08 1:56]
Nice shot Riaan. The hippo is very difficult to capture especially in the wild.
Its winking at you Riaan.Please explain...why would you want a hippopotamus for christmas?
Riaan, Nice close shot of your hippo! Good details seen also. Very informative note done well. Not the prettiest face..this is definitely one of those you'd have to say only a mother could love! Thanx for posting!
Riaan the details and light here are fine. Great capture of these huge ones. The dam does not look large enough how big is it?
- [2004-11-08 12:23]
'n lekker vetgat! This is a very nice portrait. I like the detail and sharpness. it must be a "she:" as she is winking at you.
Thanks for posting
- [2004-11-08 15:07]
Buena captura de este peligroso, aunque simpático animal Riaan... la suerte de poder fotografiarlo a esta distancia sin riesgos.
Buenos detalles de la cabeza y lomo del animal con el detalle de la expresion con un ojo entreabierto.
Good capture of this dangerous one, although likeable animal Riaan... the luck of being able to photograph it to this distance without risks.
Good details of the head and back of the animal with the detail of the expression with a half-opened eye.
- [2004-11-08 17:27]
...are my two front teeth.
Great shot Riaan. They always look so blisfully happy in the water. Good work and excellent note. Well done.
- [2004-11-16 15:09]
Everything here works very nicely together to make this a picture with impact. You must just work a bit on the saturation, shadows, and get a bit more "mood" onto the colours to really make this one sing.