Home Animals How Fast Can a Hippo run? Hippo’s Land & Water Running Speed

How Fast Can a Hippo run? Hippo’s Land & Water Running Speed

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How fast can a hippo run? Can you believe that despite their size and weight, hippos can run 30 km/h (19 mph) on land? They’re not just fat – these animals live in Africa! In fact, it’s estimated they kill more people than any other African mammals. 

But why would such a lumbering creature pose such a danger to humans? It all comes down to territory: when a male detects another animal within his territory he will charge at them violently until only one survivor remains… 

This makes hippos a dangerous creature; they kill more people than any other African animal – estimates say around 500-3000 annually!

Hippos as said to be very moody animals and have fascinatingly sharp teeth. Let’s look at the speed of the Hippopotamus.

how fast can a hippo run

Running Speed of Hippos on Land

Hippos run fast on flat ground. They can reach speeds of 30 km/h, but they usually only increment this rate when going uphill or downhill!

A hippo’s gait is like a gallop with feet, not all being lifted off at once – it’s an economical movement that helps them save energy for running faster over longer distances

Hippos can reach top speed within just two seconds, making them incredibly fast to approach or escape from! If you were unfortunate enough to get caught by a hippo it would be unpleasant at best; many people who have been attacked claim that their attackers came out smelling like fish ( due to its terrible smell ).

Male hippos are powerful animals, weighing up to four tons! They can move this weight quickly because they have such a large frame and strong legs.

hippo chased by lion

How Fast Can Hippos Run Underwater?

The answer to “how fast can hippos run underwater” is surprisingly not very much.

Some people might be surprised to know that hippos can’t actually swim. They are semi-aquatic animals with webbed feet, but they weigh too much for swimming!

Hippos will walk underwater like on land. 

The answer for how fast can a hippo run underwater is it can walk at the speed of (8km/h) /(5 mph) underwater.

A hippo has a breath-holding capacity for a few minutes. So it walks inside the water and reaches the surface to inhale. After inhaling, it again sinks into the water and walks more distance.

Another interesting fact is that a hippo can’t even float. This means that they spend their time underwater where there is no light. This way hippos escape from sunlight.

Hippos can easily sleep in water because of the built-in reflex they have. They come to the surface to inhale take breaths and go back into the water without waking up from sleep.

Do you know the hippo’s secret weapon? They sweat like crazy and their blood contains two pigments hipposudoric acid and norhipposudoric acid which give it an oily red shine! 

What Makes Hippos So Deadly?

Hippos are dangerous animals and they live in their own way. If something or someone interrupts this, the hippo will throw them its way. 

The biggest defense for a hippo is its 180-degree angle mouth. Hippo’s bite is ferocious and thus keeps the big cats at bay from baby hippos. 

Imagine if an object of mass 4000 kg is running at 30 km/h towards you to attack, what can you do? There is nothing that can be done. Such is the hippo attack.

Hippos make up 80% of their communication underwater. They make sounds like Squeals, Grunts, and clicks like the calls of the dolphin cousins through their jawbones. Hippos use these sounds to dominate and defend the territory.

Hippos are experts in chasing the intruders such as other animals and people away from their territory. Hippo’s aggressiveness keeps the intruders at bay. 

How Long Can a Hippo Run at Top speed?

Thinking ‘how long can a hippo run at top speed’? Actually, the hippo has less stamina and they sustain their high-speed running of 30 km/h only for half a minute. 

Hippos can’t either jump or climb hills or slopes, so the best way to avoid them is by running up an uphill. They also struggle in water that’s deeper than their height allows for—good luck trying to escape!

Why Does a Hippo Walk & Run on Land?

You may be curious as to why these mighty mammals would be running at top speed in the wild. A hippo’s land speed increases when it needs a quick escape or attack from predators, so it can quickly scare them off with its bulk and power – not only making chasing difficult but also providing protection by frightening potential targets into running away (or even just getting out of range). 

As such high speeds are needed for both actions on dry land where claws aren’t useful due to their inability to catch slippery surfaces like water while walking around during daytime hours; this leaves only one option: moving fast!

Another reason why hippos walk on land is to eat their food. Their main food is fruits, leaves, bark, and short grass. Due to their large appetite, a hippo spends a large amount of time up to 5-6 hours on grazing. 

Hippo Vs Human Running Speed on Land

The fattest land animal, the hippo can run at 30 km/h when it needs to escape from danger or catch up with its prey. 

While humans have an average speed that ranges between 10-13 kph (6). However, this isn’t any advantage for us as most athletes only achieve 24 kilometers during their sprints!

Hippo’s Running Speed Vs Other African Animals

Hippos are not the only animals in the African forests. There are many other animals in a race such as Cheetah, Thomson Gazelle, Buffalo, and Dogs. etc proving their speeds. 

Hippos are just one of the animals in African wildlife. 

A Hippo travels very slowly underwater than a crocodile. With this, how can it match a cheetah on land? However, a Hippo is a fastest-running creature among similar-sized animals.

Read our other Hippo blogs below:

References:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0040403906002954
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7416829/

Author Profile
Zahra Makda
Wildlife Enthusiast | Explorer at Animals Research

Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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