- Africa appears to be the largest terrestrial mammal on Earth. They can weigh up to 14,000 lbs.
- When hippos feel threatened, they are extremely aggressive creatures that can kill as many as 3,000 people each year.
- Both elephant and hippo populations are at risk due to habitat loss, poaching and other factors.
Imagine being chased by a creature weighing over 12,000 pounds. As it charges at you, you run as fast as you can and wonder if you are a match for this beast. In the clip, a giant elephant chases hippos bathing in a nearby stream. For some reason, the elephant rushed towards the hippo with all its might.
The video begins with the elephant stomping rapidly along the river bank before jumping into the water after the hippo. The unexpected hippo has to think fast and start retreating from the angry elephant. The elephant nudged the hippo’s back with its trunk, trying to get him to follow. The two animals played around and continued to chase in the water, eventually catching up with the river bank. As the hippo began to slow its retreat, the elephant followed, nudging him again to keep going.
Elephants are the largest land animals in the world, standing between 8.2 and 13 feet tall and weighing between 2.5 and 7 tons. Elephants are herbivores, which means their diet consists only of plants. The large elephant in the video is most likely an African elephant. African elephants are generally larger than Asian elephants. Their ears are also larger than those of Asian elephants.
There are two distinct species of African elephants. One belongs to the savannah, while the other calls forested Africa home. Savannah elephants are on average larger than forest elephants, and both groups are endangered. The endangerment of these two elephant species is an extremely unfortunate situation, as the African elephant is considered a keystone species. Keystone species are those that help stabilize an entire ecosystem; without them, an ecosystem may not survive.
The hippopotamus is a large mammal that is also a herbivore, like the African elephant. Hippos can grow up to 16.5 feet long and 5.2 feet tall. Hippos can also weigh up to 4.5 tons. The name hippopotamus comes from the Greek word meaning “hippopotamus” because these creatures usually inhabit water. Shockingly, however, hippos cannot swim or float in water. Instead, they can take naps in the water due to qualities unique to their species.
Hippos are very dangerous. While they may not exhibit regular aggressive patterns, they will attack who or what threatens them. In fact, the chance of dying when encountering a hippo is more than 85%. By some estimates, between 500 and 3,000 people die each year from hippo encounters. While hippos are not endangered, they are considered vulnerable because their numbers are dwindling. Poaching and habitat loss are two major issues threatening hippo populations.
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- Apathetic elephants part sea of hippos like Moses
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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