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Hitching a Ride - for Nasos

Hitching a Ride - for Nasos
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-12-31
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 400mm 2.8 IS
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-02-11 7:22
Viewed: 5993
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Yesterday Nasos (Nasokoun) commented on my rapid change of geographic location in my postings, so I am dedicating today's posting to him. I have changed continent again today, from North America to Africa, I took this shot of a young hippo hitching a ride on its mothers back on my recent trip to West Africa in Benin.

I took this shot with my 400mm 2,8 + x2 converter, It was the middle of the day and the light was very, very bright, so I am quite pleased with the result.

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 second largest land animal (after the elephant) 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 both 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 the most ferocious animal 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.

Five subspecies of hippos have been described based on morphological differences in their skulls and geographical differences:

1. H. a. amphibius – (the nominate subspecies) which stretched from Egypt, where they are now extinct, south up the Nile River to Tanzania and Mozambique.

2. H. a. kiboko – in the Horn of Africa, in Kenya and Somalia. Kiboko is the Swahili word for hippo. Broader nasals and more hollowed interorbital region.

3. H. a. capensis – from Zambia to South Africa. Most flattened skull of the subspecies.

4. H. a. tschadensis – throughout Western Africa to, as the name suggests, Chad. Slightly shorter and wider face, with prominent orbits.

5. H. a. constrictus – in Angola, the southern Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia. Named for its deeper preorbital constriction.

So these individuals are Hippopotamus amphibius tschadensis

marianas, nasokoun, boreocypriensis, nglen, lovenature, CeltickRanger, siggi, anemone, jaycee, tuslaw, maurydv, Argus, rousettus has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Animal Behaviouringridshaul 1 02-12 07:45
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi James.
Very interesting capture in a great moment when this animals enter in water.
Funny image Well done.
Best greetings.Alin.

Hi James
What a great hippopotamus capture.
Very interesting place this lovely Benin.

Hello James,

A great capture with beautiful colors, details & natural habitat. Well taken, composed & presented. TFS & best wishes.


my good friend James, the localities of your photographic search are enviable and dreams for me, thank you for the dedication of this splendid scene of wild nature. I wish you all the best, good travels and beautiful photos of Earth!
best regards

Hi Bro James,

Stunning shot of these river horses. It looks perfect from where I'm sitting. Great dedication to agood friend too!
TFS and heve a nice night MF!


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2010-02-11 11:20]

Hi James. Once again for the interesting notes to go with the fine picture. A animal i should love to see in the wild. TFS.

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2010-02-11 12:15]

Dear James!

Mothers are all the same everywhere on our world: just spoiling the kids!


Many thanks and congratulations for this original and very pleasant picture. That's wildlife at the purest stage!

Kind regards


Hi James
Great capture! I didn't realize the hippopotamus did this. Nicely composed and sharp detail.
Thanks for keeping me educated ; )

hello James

excellent photo of these hippopotamus with fine low POV, DOF,
fine focus excellent sharpness and details, i love the POV
that is at their level and the level of the water, it is like
if we where with them on the water, TFS


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-02-11 13:42]

Hello James,
Wonderful capture of these young hippopotamus and its mothers.Your excellent camera work brings it to life for us, great work .
Best regards Siggi

Hi James, lovely capture of these hippos.
Pov, dof and composition are fine.
TFS. Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-02-11 15:52]

Hi James,

This is wonderful! Finally you have posted something I have seen with my own eyes. An excellent shot of hippos doing what hippos do.


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-02-11 18:58]

Hello James,
What a neat capture of this little guy hitching a ride. I never knew they displayed this type of behavior, but then we don't have any hippo in our part of Ohio to observe..HA.HA.
You did a great job controlling the exposure on this extremely bright sunny day. Wonderful detail with very natural coloration!! Well done!! Informative notes!

Hello James,
a great dedication to our friend Nasos; a very beautiful capture of these Hippopotamus, very good sharpness and splendid natural colours with very beuatiful reflections, a very nice composition with this natural environment.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-02-12 6:15]

Hello James,
A fine and unusual capture!
This young hippo is quite raised out of the water while hitching a ride on his mother. Her raised orbital is well seen and both are taken with excellent sharpness and colours.
Thanks and have a good weekend,

Hi James,
You chose a good example for frightening TrekNature members. Lots of tourist ignore the warnings in lodges and get bitten into halves.

I actually had a funny story from Ferran, how he was relaxing in the pool, heard a big splash, and ran as fast as he could from the Hippo, which had joined him. See my my "Killer" photo link

Have not heard before about Hippos transporting their young ones... never too late to learn :-))

Cannot add any compliments not yet said by other members, except it is an outstanding documentary, thanks.

Have a nice evening where-ever you are, when you read this,
good wishes

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-02-12 23:33]

Hi James,
very special capture of these special animals. The clarity is wonderful and the moment is well shown here. The effect of shallow depth of field adds dramatic to the scenery.
Special moment well shared.


Hello James
fantastic capture of famous Hippopotamus from Benin. A young hippopotam gave a great pose from its mothers back to you. wonderful scene and composition. greatly focused and noted good information. I also like derivatio nominis (etymology). you already mentioned. potamus came from "river", e.g. Mesopotamia (ancient region between Tigris and Euphrates rivers).
thanks a lot. I will wait your new posts from new Africa travel. best wishes and have a nice new week

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