From the Dallas Zoo via reader Michael, we have a video posted on May 31. I seem to remember that baby hippos are born underwater and can swim before they walk, so if that’s true this is not the first time the baby was actually in water. It’s the first time in the public habitat. And it’s ineffably cute. I am dragging and dispirited today, so this is what you get. Tomorrow, if anyone’s in the mood for a science post, I have a fossil ammonite in amber to tell you about. Ammonites are marine creatures, while amber is fossilized tree resin. Figure out how that happened? You have about 19 hours to formulate an answer.
At least you can learn several biological facts:
1.) There are two species of hippo: the common hippo (this one), Hippopotamus amphibius, common in sub-Saharan Africa, and the pygmy hippo, Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis, which is in a different genus. Pygmy hippos have a much more limited distribution, and are found only in Liberia, the Ivory Coast, and Guinea.
2.) Hippos are the closest living relative of whales, with their common ancestor splitting from that of all modern whales about 53 million years ago.
Okay, here’s the short but endearing video. While adult hippos are interesting, baby hippos are ineffably cute (remember Fiona?) The YouTube notes: