When Hippos 'Fly', New Discovery Reveals Extraordinary Abilities of Large Mammals

There is a new study that has caught the attention of many people. This research found that the hypopotamus, a large animal that we usually see relaxing soaking in rivers, actually has surprising abilities. They can 'fly'! Of course, this is not flight like birds, but rather their rapid movement in the water makes them seem to float above the surface.

This article will discuss these interesting findings and explain in detail how the hypopotamus, which is known for its large body, can carry out this extraordinary movement. We'll take a closer look at the studies conducted by the researchers, how they made their observations, and what implications these findings have for our understanding of these large animals.

What is the Hypopotamus Animal

First of all, let's get to know more closely who this hypopotamus is. The hippopotamus, or often called the hippopotamus, is a large herbivorous animal that lives in sub-Saharan Africa. They have large, heavy bodies, with large heads and wide mouths. The hypopotamus spends most of its time in water to keep its body temperature cool under the hot African sun.

Hypopotamus Can Fly

The hypopotamus, the largest land animal that often weighed more than 2,000 kilograms, may not have looked like a creature that could fly. This research, carried out by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in the UK, brings us to a new understanding of the locomotion abilities of large land animals. In a study published in the journal PeerJ, researchers found that when running fast, hippos can trot, a gait in which they lift all four legs off the ground simultaneously for up to 0.3 seconds at a time. This is a phenomenon that is rarely found in other large land animals.

Research Study Results


This study took data from a video recorded by The Guardian at Flamingo Land Resort, North Yorkshire, where two hippos were observed moving in their field during the day. In addition, researchers also collected video recordings from the internet to obtain a wider range of behavior and movements of hippos in the wild.

Researcher John Hutchinson, Professor of evolutionary biomechanics and lead author of the study, said, "Working with hypopotamuses is difficult because they tend to live in water and are rarely trained for study in zoos. They are also very dangerous. That's why science knows so little about how hypopotamuses work. moving before our research. We are pleased to provide the first study that specifically reveals how the hypopotamus walks and runs. Seeing how the hypopotamus lifts during fast movement is truly impressive."

Interesting Research From a Scientific Point of View and Practical Implications

The results of this research are not only interesting from a scientific perspective, but also have practical implications, especially for zoos and conservation institutions. A deeper understanding of how hippos move could help in designing better habitats and improving the quality of care provided to them. In addition, this discovery also provides new insight into how the body size of animals affects the way they move on land.

Does That Mean All Large Land Animals Have Similar Abilities

No, not all large land animals have similar abilities. This research highlights the uniqueness of the hypopotamus in locomotion. Other large animals, such as elephants, rhinos, or hippos, have different ways of moving. Each species has unique adaptations to its environment, including movement.

This discovery will improve understanding of how the size of large land animals influences their movements on land. Previously, research indicated that the hypopotamus often uses a four-legged (quadrupedal) gait, with the order of left hind legs, left front, right hind and right front, similar to elephants. Now, this research reveals that the hypopotamus can lift off the ground when moving quickly, as can other mammals such as horses, although this is rare in large animals.


Hypopotamuses may look like calm and slow animals, but make no mistake, they have extraordinary abilities. This research proves that there are still many things we can learn from nature and the creatures that live in it. Who knows, maybe one day we will see hypopotamus 'flying' in African rivers with our own eyes.

That's a glimpse of new research which finds that the hypopotamus can 'fly' when moving fast. Hopefully this article provides you with interesting information and new knowledge about the natural world. Thank you for reading, and see you in the next article!

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