Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Amazing Hippopotamus

Welcome back to my blog everyone! A lot of stuff has been going on around here.

First of all, the casting call for the Christmas play I wrote called, “A Big Misunderstanding,” is scheduled for October 6th at 11 0’ clock. For more need-to-know information, please contact me at Hopefully, this casting call will be wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-y better than the last one we had. I still remember that day, the day I sat on that uncomfortable bench for a whole three hours just waiting for someone to show up . . . but I’ll stick with the positive stuff today!

The next stop-motion film, “Animal Face-Off: Hippo vs. Bull Shark,” is coming along great! Unlike the other films I’ve made, such as “Jurassic Park: The Game: Triceratops Trouble” and “Animal Face-Off: Lion vs. Tiger” this film will have something the other two didn’t: verbal narration! I’ve discovered how to use the audio recording system on the computer I’m using so I can narrate the film (I will still have to use some subtitles for some of it though because while music is playing on the film I can’t also put narration in – in other words, I can’t have two pieces of audio playing at one time). I expect the “Hippo vs. Bull Shark” film to be finished by October 11th or sooner! I can’t wait! As we speak, this movie is about 99.5% finished! In an earlier blog post I mentioned that I am working on a longer stop-motion film series. I won’t give the title away, but I will merely just say script writing for it is going well.

Sure, we all have seen hippos in books, movies, cartoon shows and even board games, such as “Hungry, Hungry Hippos”. But do you really know everything about hippos? We’ll see in a minute!

Now, the Hippopotamus amphibius or hippopotamus, lives in the lakes, ponds and rivers in Africa. Did you know the word “Hippopotamus” actually means “River Horse”? It gets the name from the way it moves underwater. A lot of people believe hippos love to swim. While hippos do swim on occasion, most of the time they live in shallow water that is just deep enough to fully cover their bodies. So when the hippo meets the shark in the face-off, it won’t be swimming, it will be walking across the bottom, almost as if it is slowly “galloping” like a horse.

Hippos underwater
A full grown hippopotamus, which is about 11 feet long and 7,000 pounds, may look fat, clumsy and slow, but do not, I repeat, DO NOT be fooled. On land, hippos can run up to 30mph! In Africa, people say never get between a hippo and the water, because then it will be able to run you down easy. While a hippo may look fat, most of that is actually muscle and bone, and hardly any fat at all. No wonder they can run so fast! Even though they look a lot like land animals, as we all know, they prefer to spend their time in the water because their skin can dry out in the heat. Fortunately, God gave these animals the ability to produce a sort of “sunscreen” that comes out of their skin. In the wild, hippos live in herds that is ruled by a dominant bull. The dominant bull is the biggest, meanest bull in the area and he will jealously defend his territory from rival hippos. Why is he so protective? Well, he wants to be the only one to be able to mate with the females. A herd of hippos consists of a dominant male, a few younger males, and up to 200 females and their young. However, most herds only consist of about ten members.

A pod of hippos
Hippos are famous for their large gapes. These creatures can open their mouths almost 180 degrees! That’s almost all the way back! If you ever travel to Africa, you might notice a male hippo yawn. They do this to scare rivals away. But when yawning doesn’t work, the male hippos face-off. This is what they use those teeth for – to fight with other males and defend themselves. Hippos can inflict deep wounds in other rival hippos. However, God gave these animals tough immune systems so they don’t get infected. I myself have seen hippos fight and believe me, they don’t play nice with each other. I must have been only 5, 6 or 7 when we went to Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s hippo exhibit and two hippos had a brief fight (fortunately it didn’t get blood, and unfortunately, I couldn’t get a picture). Don’t think wild hippos would treat you any nicer than they’d treat a rival! Hippos have killed more people in Africa than lions, elephants, crocodiles and buffalo combined! Why do they kill so many people in the first place? Well, a lot of people will go out on African rivers in these tiny canoes. The hippos (especially males) see the boats as a threat so they (violently) tip it over. And if that doesn’t kill you or make you drown, and then often times crocodiles will come by after the hippo has left and kill the people. Even crocodiles however treat hippos with respect. Hippos have been known to bite crocodiles in half!

A hippo's open jaws
Despite their terrible side, hippos are vegetarians. But they don’t eat water plants. Instead, they come out of the water at night, when the sun won’t dry their skin out, and eat grass. Hippos are also wonderful parents. Surprisingly, hippos don’t give birth on land, instead they give birth underwater. A mother hippo will fiercely protect their young from predators.

A hippo calf resting on an adults head
When most people hear the word “hippo” a large hippopotamus comes to mind. But there is another species of hippo called the Pygmy Hippo, lives in Central African Rivers. But either big or small, hippos are definitely another amazing animal God created.

Thank you for stopping by today. Check back next week to learn about more really cool facts, updates on various stuff, and in a few weeks, the next stop-motion movie. Bye for now!

PS: Have a puzzling question about animals (including dinosaurs), Creation, God, the Bible, myself, my book, “THE KING ON A CROSS” or etc? Post your question as a comment or send an email to Also send me an email to receive more information on the Christmas play.

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  1. What's the use of hippos? They seem to be this big ugly animal that does nothing.

    1. God didn't create the Hippopotamus for nothing. The hippo spends most of its time lounging in the water with a host of other animals, mainly fish. Now, many of these fish feast on something only a hippo can give: hippo waste. In some bodies of water in Africa, there are no fish because there are no hippos. Hippos and these fish were made for each other. Also, hippos help to keep the grass from growing to tall when they feed on it during the night.