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Uploaded on Apr 1, 2009
The hippopotamus is recognizable for its barrel-shaped torso, enormous mouth and teeth, hairless body, stubby legs and tremendous size. It is the third-largest land mammal by weight (1.5-2 tons), behind the White Rhinoceros (3-4 tons) and Elephant (4-5.5 tons). Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it can easily outrun a human. Hippos have been clocked at 30 mph (48 km/h) while running short distances, faster than an Olympic sprinter. 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 remaining throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, of which Zambia (40,000) and Tanzania (20,000-30,000) have the largest populations. They are still threatened by poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth, and by habitat loss.