July 22, 2024, 4:12 pm

Hippos Can Lift Off While Running, Reveals New Study

Sarakhon Desk
  • Update Time : Saturday, July 6, 2024

Researchers have discovered that hippos, known for their massive size and aquatic lifestyle, can lift all four limbs off the ground when moving at high speeds. This groundbreaking finding, published by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in the UK, highlights the hippos’ ability to get airborne during fast strides.

Study Details: Video Analysis of Hippo Movements
The study analyzed videos of 32 hippos, covering 169 movement cycles. Researchers found that the fastest hippos spent about 15% of each stride off the ground. This discovery fills a significant gap in understanding how these large animals, which can weigh over 2,000 kilograms (2.2 tons), move on land.

Challenges in Studying Hippos
John Hutchinson, the lead author and professor of evolutionary biomechanics at RVC, noted the difficulties in studying hippos due to their aggressive nature, nocturnal activity, and preference for water. Despite these challenges, the study revealed that hippos almost exclusively trot, using a unique limb movement pattern, regardless of speed.

Implications for Captivity and Future Research
These findings could improve hippo management in captivity and aid in detecting physical issues. A video showing a baby pygmy hippo galloping has sparked interest in further research to determine if young hippos lose the ability to gallop as they grow.

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