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Hippo - walking on water

Hippo - walking on water
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Thomas (FunkyMunky) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 146 W: 0 N: 608] (3154)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-08
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon Powershot SX210IS
Exposure: f/5.9, 1/1250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-01-15 4:00
Viewed: 12556
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Photo taken in the iSimangaliso wetland Park near St Lucia

The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), or hippo, from the ancient Greek for "river horse" , is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae (the other is the Pygmy Hippopotamus.) The hippopotamus is the third largest land animal (after the elephant and the white rhinoceros) and the heaviest extant artiodactyl, despite being considerably shorter than the giraffe.
The hippopotamus is semi-aquatic, inhabiting rivers and lakes where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river and groups of 5 to 30 females and young. During the day they remain cool by staying in the water or mud; reproduction and childbirth both occur in water. They emerge at dusk to graze on grass. While hippopotamuses rest near each other in the water, grazing is a solitary activity and hippos are not territorial on land.
Despite their physical resemblance to pigs and other terrestrial even-toed ungulates, their closest living relatives are cetaceans (whales, porpoises, etc.) from which they diverged about 55 million years ago. The common ancestor of whales and hippos split from other even-toed ungulates around 60 million years ago. The earliest known hippopotamus fossils, belonging to the genus Kenyapotamus in Africa, date to around 16 million years ago.
The hippopotamus is recognizable by its barrel-shaped torso, enormous mouth and teeth, nearly hairless body, stubby legs and tremendous size. It is the third-largest land mammal by weight (between 1½ and 3 tonnes), behind the white rhinoceros (1½ to 3½ tonnes) and the three species of elephant (3 to 9 tonnes). Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it can easily outrun a human. Hippos have been clocked at 30 km/h (19 mph) over short distances. The hippopotamus is one of the most aggressive creatures in the world and is often regarded as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. There are an estimated 125,000 to 150,000 hippos throughout Sub-Saharan Africa; Zambia (40,000) and Tanzania (20,000–30,000) possess the largest populations. They are still threatened by habitat loss and poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth.

And they are not actually walking on water but a shallow sandbank.

corjan3, fransswanepoel, tuslaw, soccer has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hellow Peter,
Follow my lead,mother and baby a most lethal combination.Interesting image with nice clarity and good details.

Fantastic bright capture of this well fed family! Brilliant simple composition and gorgeous natural environment!
George Veltchev

Even the bird is well positioned. Excellent photo and note...I read it all and it is very informative.

Olá Peter,bela foto uma bela imagem deste animal com om seu filhote bela composição e nitidez parabéns.

Well done Peter. Simple but effective. Good clarity and colors.
I havent been in the St Lucia area for nearly 20 years.... mabe it is time for a revisit.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-01-15 19:42]

Hello Peter,
A superb image of this mother and her offspring. Captured in their natural environment with excellent detail and beautiful true colors. Living in Ohio it is hard to imagine living in an area where these types of animals walk about freely. Great work!!

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2011-01-15 21:47]

Hello Thomas,
exciting and lively presentation from gallery. How sweet it is to bee seen with the company - mum and cutie.
Excellent sharpness with the surrounding intact. The blue water is lovely and the grass in the background acts a natural framing.
Well seen in details and you have waited for the best moment to share.
Thanks...how enjoyable to see this view and congratulations.


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2011-01-16 5:11]

Hello Peter,
Very cute how the baby hippo follows his mother..lovely scene from African nature. Light was a little strong and not so easy to handle.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2011-01-16 22:13]


How lucky you were to get the Hippo out of the water in such good light with her little one. I like the lighting, detail and POV in your image.

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