Do Hippos Eat Meat?

While hippos are mostly herbivores and mainly eat plants, they have been known to consume meat. Rare occurrences have been observed that hippos eat other hippos or other animals, according to National Geographic. Being the third largest mammals on earth, they certainly need to eat a lot to maintain their size.

The common hippopotamus, also known as hippos, are massive animals that weigh around 3,500 kilograms and can be up to 3.5 meters long. They are semi-aquatic, spending a lot of their time in rivers and lakes in Africa. Even though they spend most of their time in the water, they are mammals.

What do hippos eat?

Hippos mainly eat grass. They can 35 kilograms of grass per day! They will graze upon the land and consume fruits, as well as other aquatic plants occasionally.

When encountering a lack of plant-based food, they have been documented as resorting to eating meat – even other hippos. When hippos are desperate for food, they will do whatever it takes to survive. This is especially true during droughts, when there may be little to no resources available.

How many types of hippos are there?

There are only two living species of hippos, the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) and the pygmy hippo (Choeropsis liberiensi). The pygmy hippo is small and can only grow an average of 1.5 meters.

Do hippos know how to swim?

The large size of these animals is a disadvantage, as they cannot stay afloat or swim very well. However, they can walk underwater and hold their breath for up to five minutes, which allows them to stay submerged. They would shut off their nostrils and ears to not let the water in.

What do you call hippos by their sexes?

Male hippos are called ‘bulls’, females are called ‘cows,’ and baby hippos are called ‘calves’.

What animals prey on hippos?

Animals that eat hippos are hyenas, lions, leopards, and crocodiles.

What is the lifespan of hippos?

While hippos in the wild typically only live for 40 years, those kept in captivity can survive up to 50.

Can you touch a hippo?

While there’s an urge to touch these massive creatures, it’s actually a dangerous idea. They are very aggressive and have been known to attack humans when they feel threatened. So, while you may want to get close to a hippo, it’s best to admire them from afar.


Hippos are big mammals that really like eating plants but have carnivorous behaviors out of necessity. They’re not the best swimmers, but can hold their breath for a while and walk along the bottom of bodies of water. If you see a hippo basking in the water or grazing on the land, enjoy the moment from a distance as they are one of nature’s most impressive creatures.