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Hippos are semiaquatic creatures known for being among the heaviest animals on the planetBut not all hippos are the same in build – like individual mammals of other species, hippopotamus weights can vary greatlySo, how much did the heaviest hippo ever weigh?The heaviest known hippo weighed in at a massive 9,900 pounds or 4,500 kilograms, according to A-Z AnimalsThe hippo was a captive animal at a zoo in Germany, and it’s common for large hippos to be found in zoos and wildlife preserves around the worldTable of ContentsWhat is the heaviest hippo’s weight equivalent to?What is the average weight and size of a hippo?What kind of habitat do hippos live in?Have hippos always been heavy?Can hippos be fat or obese?How are hippos weighed?Is there a Guinness World Record for the heaviest hippo?How heavy are hippos when they’re born?When does a hippopotamus reach its full-grown size?How can hippos swim with their weight?Does a hippo’s weight make them dangerous?How do pygmy hippos compare?Where does the hippopotamus rank among Earth’s heaviest animals?What is the heaviest hippo’s weight equivalent to?To put those 9,900 pounds in perspective, it is the equivalent of two John Deere Utility tractors, three Toyota Camrys, or two Honda PilotsIt’s also the equivalent of 50 average-sized humansWhat is the average weight and size of a hippo?At 9,900 pounds, the heaviest hippo ever was about twice the weight of an average hippo, which is around 3,300 poundsThis is taking both males and females into account

The average male hippo weighs between 4,000 and 9,000 pounds or between two tons and 45 tons, while the average female hippo weighs between 2,900 and 3,300 pounds or about 15 tonsThe average hippo is large in stature, which helps explain its enormous weight

On average, a single hippo’s length falls between 108 and 165 feet, while the hippo’s height typically reaches between 5 and 6 feet tallWhat kind of habitat do hippos live in?A full-grown hippo needs a lot of room both on land and in water, which is why zoo enclosures tend to be quite largeHippos are indigenous to Africa and are found living near slow-moving bodies of water throughout the continent’s sub-Saharan regionsThough they have been introduced to ecosystems elsewhere (including South America), hippos as a species are considered to be of vulnerable status and have seen their numbers dwindle over the yearsHave hippos always been heavy?Like most modern animals, the hippo’s ancestors can be traced back millennia to ancient variants of the speciesHippopotamus antiquus is the oldest known species of hippo, dating back between one and two million years agoNow extinct, fossils of the species indicate it weighed an average of more than three tons, or between 6,000 and 7,040 poundsThis large ancient hippo is also sometimes referred to as the “Giant Hippo” or the European hippopotamusThat said, modern hippos are not naturally native to the European continent todayIn addition to hippopotamus antiquus, archeologists have discovered hippo-like reptiles that were even larger and rivaled dinosaursHowever, they are not believed to be direct ancestors of the modern hippo and therefore have not contributed to its sizeCan hippos be fat or obese?Despite their “fat” appearance, hippos usually are not actually fat

They are naturally bulky and roundedLike all mammals, however, a hippo can progress to being overweight if they consume too many calories and do not burn enough energy during the dayThe heaviest hippos on the planet are almost always the result of naturally large frames and more muscular builds rather than excess fatHow are hippos weighed?Due to their size, hippos can only be weighed on special scales that can withstand the weightHippos in zoos are typically trained to step onto these scales (which are set up as low platforms), which the zookeepers can then switch on to calculate the weightIt’s worth noting that because hippos in the wild generally cannot be weighed, their average sizes are estimatedIt is, therefore, possible that a hippo heavier than 9,900 pounds has existed in the wild

Nevertheless, this is also unlikely because captive hippos in zoos tend to have more access to food and also receive medical care throughout their lives, giving them the opportunity to grow largerIs there a Guinness World Record for the heaviest hippo?There is no current Guinness World Record entry for “heaviest hippo” However, there are a few “largest” categories in which hippos are named the winnerThese notably include the world’s largest invasive species (the African hippopotamus in the country of Columbia) and the mammal with the largest mouth gape (an average of four feet wide)How heavy are hippos when they’re born?According to the San Diego Zoo, the average hippo calf at birth weighs between 50 and 110 pounds (23 and 50 kilograms)However, there are sometimes those that fall outside this range

Just like humans, hippo weights vary from the moment they’re bornWhen does a hippopotamus reach its full-grown size?Hippos mature slowly compared to many other mammals

They reach “adult” maturity between 5 and 7 years old, but they may continue growing in size for years after thatHippoHavencom reports that a hippopotamus will continue to grow until they are around 25 years of age, after which they will be considered at their maximum weight (barring any drastic dietary changes)How can hippos swim with their weight?Due to their large size and bulky appearance, many people wonder how hippos can swim in bodies of waterIn reality, however, hippos actually do not swim at all

They instead hold their breath and walk along the bottom of lakes and rivers until they are ready to get out and simply stroll out the shallow endDespite their love of water (hippos can even sleep while submerged), hippos can’t even float

They are too heavy and denseDoes a hippo’s weight make them dangerous?Though they may appear to be gentle giants, hippos are considered an extremely dangerous species, particularly when encountered in the wildTheir thick, durable skin, large tusks, and hefty size make them extremely tough to fend off when attackingHowever, it is occasional aggression and a dislike toward intruders that makes hippos dangerous rather than their size aloneHippos like to walk along the bottom of rivers and have been known to attack boats and peopleAccording to the National Wildlife Federation, hippos are deemed responsible for the deaths of about 3,000 people every year in their natural habitatsIn comparison to other wild animals, hippos are said to cause more human deaths annually than lions, leopards, rhinos, buffalos, and elephants combinedHow do pygmy hippos compare?For as large as regular hippos grow, the pygmy hippo is petite in comparison

This hippopotamus subspecies only reaches a maximum weight that falls between 352 and 605 pounds, or between 10 and six times lighter than a regular hippoThe pygmy hippo is considered a dwarf species, but unlike many other dwarf animals around the world, it developed naturally in the wild rather than through man-made breeding programsWhere does the hippopotamus rank among Earth’s heaviest animals?Despite the fact that it spends so much time in the water, the hippo is considered the third-largest land-dwelling creature on the planetOnly the elephant and the rhinoceros beat it in weight, although certain subspecies of rhinos and hippos fall within the same average rangeStill, the hippopotamus is tiny in comparison to the world’s largest and heaviest animal (also the largest mammal), the blue whaleWith a weight that reaches up to 219 tons, the blue whale is five times as heavy as the world’s heaviest hippoThere are also several varieties of whales that are heavier than hippos in generalWhen it comes to the heaviest animals overall, the hippo ranks fifth when all species of whale are grouped togetherThe whale shark (encompassing plankton-eating sharks in general) also beats out land-dwelling animals on this list, coming in second behind whalesRelated posts:The 15 Best Zoos in the USAThe 30 Largest Zoos in the United StatesThe 20 Best Zoos in England85 Australian Animals You Should KnowShould All Zoos Be Closed?Are Zoos Helpful or Harmful?Should Animals Be Kept in Captivity?What Do Zoos Do with the Dead Animals?Do Zoos Take in Injured Animals?The 15 Most Famous Truss Bridges Around The WorldHow Much Is a Ticket to the Fort Worth Zoo?How Much Does a 5-Gallon Bottle of Water Weigh?The 10 Biggest Zoos In The United StatesWhy Are Zoos a Good Thing?The 10 Biggest Cat Zoos In The WorldAre Dogs Allowed at Brookfield Zoo?

Hippos are some of the largest animals in the world

Ranking third on the list of the largest land mammals, hippos are incredibly heavy animals

A hippo’s average weight is between 3,000-8,000 lb (1,360-3,630 kg), making them the third largest animals after elephants and rhinos

Even at birth, they are incredibly heavy, and there is dimorphism between male and female weights

This article will cover the hippo’s size and weight in great detail

Table of ContentsWhat Is The Weight Of An Adult Hippo?How Large Are Pygmy Hippos?How Much Do Baby Hippos and Pygmy Hippos Weigh?Are Male And Female Hippos Weigh The Same?Why Do Hippos Grow So Large?What Is the Largest Hippo Ever Known?Hippos Size vs Elephant SizeHippos Size vs Rhino SizeFinal Thoughts On Hippo WeightFAQs

What Is The Weight Of An Adult Hippo?

Hippopotamuses are large, aggressive animals that have been deemed Africa’s deadliest animal several times

However, the following numbers may help give you a better understanding of how massive these creatures truly are

Hippos have an average weight of 15 to 4 tons, or roughly 3,000-8,000 lb, making them some of the heaviest animals on earth

How Large Are Pygmy Hippos?

Adult pygmy hippos, in comparison to their larger cousins, only weigh between 400-600 pounds

To put that into perspective, common hippos can reach up to 8,000 pounds

In terms of height, pygmy hippos are only half as tall as regular ones, their shoulders only measure 25 to 3 feet in height

How Much Do Baby Hippos and Pygmy Hippos Weigh?

Hippos have a relatively short gestation period of 8 months, even shorter than average human pregnancy, and they usually only give birth to one baby at a time

When hippos are born, they are smaller than their parents but still significantly larger than many other animals of the same age

Baby hippos are born weighing approximately 100 lb (45 kg)

Mother hippos nurse their calves for about eight months until they are weaned off milk and only eat vegetation

Babies start growing at a rate of around one pound per day, with no sign of stopping until they reach their total weight

Pygmy hippos, on the other hand, are much lighter at birth weighing only 75-14 lb (34-64 kg)

Pygmy hippos gain ten times their birth weight within just five months

Are Male And Female Hippos Weigh The Same?

Male and female hippos have different growth rates; females are typically smaller, only growing to 3,000 lb (1,360 kg)

After they’re born, they stay with their mother until maturity, and around age 25, they stop growing

Male hippos tend to weigh more than female hippos of the same age, with some males reaching up to 8,000 lb (3,630 kg)

While they mature more slowly than females, they never stop growing and may even continue putting on weight after females have reached their maximum at age 25

Why Do Hippos Grow So Large?

Hippos grow much for the following reasons

The biggest and most fierce male hippo becomes the leader of the bloat, which gives him access to a mate

However, they live in Africa with some of the most dangerous predators in the world

It is only because of their size and strength that they are able to defend themselves against these predators and even entire packs of animals

What Is the Largest Hippo Ever Known?

Males are the largest hippos and continue to grow throughout their lives, so they hold most of the size records

The largest hippo ever recorded was a captive male hippo in Munich, Germany

This giant hippo weighed in at 4,500 kg, more than 9,900 lb

This can be interpreted to mean that hippos grow much better in captivity than they do in the wild

The main reason is that captive hippos are free from food shortages and ever-changing climates and have access to medical care

Hippos Size vs Elephant Size

Both the hippo and elephant are gargantuan in size

The average weight of a hippo is 3,000-8,000 lb, with some nearly reaching 14 ft in length and 52 ft tall at the shoulders

Their massive size doesn’t make them any less dangerous, though; if anything, it does the opposite

Their massive size doesn’t make them any less dangerous, though; if anything, it does the opposite

Elephants are the largest land animals, weighing between 5,000 and 14,000 lb

They can grow 82-13 feet tall at the shoulders and reach 21 feet long

Their size gives them a massive advantage in the wild

Hippos Size vs Rhino Size

Both hippos and rhinos can be aggressive, so you definitely wouldn’t want to run into either one of them in the wild

There are five species of rhino in the world: two African (black and white) and three Asian (greater one-horned, Sumatran, Javan)

White rhinos have a significant mass and can weigh 7,700 pounds, making them the largest among all rhino species

Fully-grown black rhinos can stand 45 to 6 feet tall at the shoulders and weigh an average of 1,760 to 3,080 pounds

Indian rhinos can grow 6 feet tall at the shoulder and 125 feet long, gaining mass up to 4400 pounds

Although Sumatran rhinos are the smallest type of rhino, they can still weigh an impressive 1760 pounds, reaching 8-10 feet long and 4 to 48 feet tall at the shoulders

While hippos usually only weigh 3,000 to 8,000 pounds, some can get as big as 14 feet long and 52 feet tall at the shoulders

Final Thoughts On Hippo Weight

At an average of 3,000 to 8,000 pounds, hippos are some of the world’s largest animals

And while they may not be the largest animals on the earth, their size certainly doesn’t make them any less dangerous

They have very thin subcutaneous layers of fat and much more muscle in their bodies than many other animals, making them the sturdiest creatures on earth

The largest hippo ever recorded was in a German zoo

This 16-foot giant weighed 9,900 pounds, equivalent to three Honda Accords

Although a hippo’s skin is tough, being about 2 inches thick, it’s not bulletproof

Though hippos are vegetarians, their aggressive nature makes them one of the most dangerous animals in the world

Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious): The name “hippopotamus” comes from a Greek word meaning “water horse” or “river horse”

There are two species of hippopotamus: the common river hippo (Hippopotamus amphibious) and the much smaller pygmy hippo (Choeropsis liberiensis)

Size and Weight:

The hippo is one of the largest mammals on Earth

On average, males weigh 3,500 to 9,920 pounds and females weigh 3,000 pounds

On average, a hippo’s length is between 108 and 165 feet, and their height is up to 52 feet tall at the shoulder

While the name “hippopotamus” comes from a Greek word meaning “river horse,” hippos are not actually related to horses

Hippos spend most of their time in the water

Their unique skin needs to be wet for a large portion of the day

If a hippo is out of the water for too long, they can become dehydrated

When this occurs, it may appear that the animal is sweating blood but “blood sweat” actually protects the hippo from sunburn and keeps it moist

While hippos may appear cute, they are one of the most aggressive and dangerous of all mammals

Their canine and incisor teeth grow continuously, with canines reaching up to 20 inches in length

Hippos typically feed on patches of short grass near water

However, at times, they need to travel several miles to find food

On average, hippos eat about 88 pounds of food each night, which is about 1 to 15% of their body weight

For example, the largest cattle eat 25 percent of their body weight each day

They have a largely inactive lifestyle unless when eating, which helps them conserve energy

Hippos are adapted for life in the water and are found living in slow-moving rivers and lakes in Africa

Therefore, most births happen during the wettest time of the year

The gestation period is just 8 months, only slightly shorter than the human gestation period

However, the hippo calf is about 10 times larger than a human baby

When the female nears the time to give birth, she leaves the herd for one or two weeks to give birth to her young and create a bond with her baby

She is comfortable giving birth in water or on land

If the baby is born underwater, the mother needs to push it to the surface to breathe

While adult hippos can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes, newborn hippos are only able to hold their breath for about 40 seconds at a time

The mother stays in the water with her newborn for several days without eating

She waits until her baby is strong enough before leaving the water at night to graze

Mothers nurse their babies for about eight months

While adult hippos have few natural predators, young hippos are at risk

Crocodiles, lions, hyenas, and leopards are all potential threats to young hippos

However, other adult hippos are a bigger threat

Hippos are social animals that spend most of their time in groups

They live in groups from 10 to 30 hippos, which includes several adult females, several adult males, their offspring and one dominant male

The dominant male has the right to mate with all the adult females in the herd

The dominant male reminds other hippos of his territory by flinging his dung as far as possible with his fan-shaped tail

Hippos can live up to 40 years in the wild

Habitat loss and the illegal ivory trade are among the largest threats to hippos

While hippos are not yet classified as endangered, their numbers have decreased over the last 200 years as their habitat is reduced

As humans expand into hippo habitat, human-hippo conflicts have become more common

Hippos, especially dominant male hippos, are known to react aggressively to intruders in their territory

When unsuspecting human boaters enter hippo territory, they are at risk of receiving an aggressive response

Hippos may also wander into human territories, such as farmlands, and devour crops

These conflicts are more common as hippo and human territories more frequently overlap

Human projects on the waterways, such as dams or the diversion of water for agriculture, can also have a negative impact on hippos and their habitat

Hippo’s canines are made from the same material of elephants’ tusks, ivory

Hippo’s canines are easier to carve than elephants’ tusks because they are softer

While hippos are not yet endangered, their habitat has been greatly reduced over the last 200 years

While many “at-risk” African animals, such as elephants and cheetahs, have conservation organizations that focus on them, there is currently no organization focused on hippo conservation

The best effort to protect hippos is to continue to safeguard large areas of land

Source: The San Diego Zoo and NATURE’s “Hippos: Africa’s River Giants”

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