crocs know better than to make a hippo angry
September 9, 2019 11:13 AM   Subscribe

Hippos Use Crocodiles as Chew Toys [Roaring Earth] "While baby hippos separated from their mothers are easy prey for crocs, when mama hippo is around, baby hippos are quite safe and can even lick and chew on crocs like teething rings without repercussions. That’s because crocs know better than to make a hippo angry — especially a mother hippo."
posted by readinghippo (18 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
If Disneyland ever updates* The Jungle Cruise, they should have the hippos rocket into the water at 25MPH towards the boat instead of "menacingly" wagging their ears or whatever.

*The jokes, however, shall not be changed. I've seen the wonder of the backside of water 30-40 times in my life, and my great-grandchildren shall also see that wonder.
posted by sideshow at 11:23 AM on September 9 [9 favorites]


Copy/pasting my own comment from another hippo thread, which I think is OK?

Anyway...an angry hippo can easily bite a human in half, and as you can see from the second video in the OP, it's not a stretch to say that they could feasibly do the same or similar to a croc.

I lived in Africa for the better part of a decade working with a humanitarian NGO that did relief and development work in 3rd world contexts. It also meant I went on safari a lot - it was essentially an easy weekend camping trip for me in the 2 countries I lived in and many more that I traveled to.

Mosquitos are the deadliest creatures on the continent followed by humans themselves, but in my estimation hippos were the deadliest non-human mammals there. They were certainly feared more than lions or all the myriad deadly snakes. I mean, you wouldn't see a guy just walk up to a puff adder or something, and lions weren't to be taken lightly if you were out of a vehicle, but it was clear that folks who lived in proximity to hippos were most afraid of running into one of them, more than anything else.

You would hear about hippo attacks on news radio almost daily. Often people going down to the river to get water would simply never come back. Sometimes they'd find a body, or what was left of one, but many times the person was disappeared for good. I suppose every hippo attack on a human is different, but apparently a hippo can bite a person clean in half with their first bite, which is how many people die. I saw the aftermath of a couple different attacks and there was a lot of blood.

When we would camp on the north edge of the Masaai Mara, we would hire local Masaai guys to guard our camp at night - basically they'd sit around a fire with a radio on loud enough for hippos nearby to hear, and they'd sing along with it. We'd fall asleep to the sound of them, and the hippos down in the river grunting at each other. Hippos typically won't seek out a human making noise by a fire, but it wasn't uncommon to hear them come through the campground at night, and the guards to significantly up their noise production when they got wind of one.

I had a wrist rocket sling shot that I mainly used for target practice plinking about during the mid-day between when we'd go out on game drives. One afternoon, the Masaai guide we'd bring along as navigator, told me to stop about 40 yards from a herd of elephant. He reaches under his red shuka (robe) and pulls out my slingshot that he had borrowed from the campground apparently. I look at him and ask "What are you going to do with that?" and he grins at me and says, matter of factly: "Research."

He then produces a handful of pebbles and proceeds to plink a big bull elephant on the hind parts with one, which ensued in quite a ruckus, and me driving away rather quickly. Later that afternoon we got to the river where the hippos were and he did some more research from the safety of the embankment of the river. The now mrs. allkindsoftime was not a fan of this because of how "cute" she found the hippos to be, but man - watching a bull hippo rage in the water after a rock slaps his back, that'll put the fear of hippo into anyone.

Come to think of it, I never once saw crocs sunbathing anywhere in close proximity to hippos in all of my many days in the bush. Makes sense!
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:33 PM on September 9 [47 favorites]


You know, if the crocs really wanted to support the baby hippos, they'd make a squeaky squeaky noise when they were being chewed on.
posted by xingcat at 12:46 PM on September 9 [48 favorites]


man, the look on that croc's face is really something. it's the same "God, not this shit again" face that one of our cats puts on when the other one comes over and lays down and rests his chin on her butt.
posted by Old Kentucky Shark at 1:13 PM on September 9 [32 favorites]


TierZoo covered this recently!  "Are Mothers OP?"

And they might have a point. Not only do mammals get to take their spawn points with them, they also unlocked an rage power-up buff for mothers when the young are threatened.  Poor croc.  That's gotta feel like the devs are blatantly favoring the mammal guild.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 1:21 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


After the first time I saw what it looks like when a hippo relieves itself, I resolved never to have any dealings with the species.
posted by praemunire at 1:29 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Nature is adorable terrifying.
posted by acb at 1:42 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Sometimes I think the only reason critters and humans survive hippo attacks is because the hippos want them to tell their friends to respect the hell out of them.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:32 PM on September 9 [5 favorites]


After the first time I saw what it looks like when a hippo relieves itself . . .

Propeller powered pooper!
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:05 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


It seems that those croc ridges would be perfect for stimulating young gums.
posted by rmmcclay at 5:36 PM on September 9 [9 favorites]


I remember watching a doc about a watering hole that was drying up. The starving crocodiles were near death but still wouldn't touch the chubby baby hippos. How does a golf ball sized brain deal with that level of deferred gratification? I mean, hippos haven't been around for most of their evolutionary development, so it had to be learned.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:06 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


If we're going to get into big animal's poopers, I feel somehow obligated to link this. It doesn't involve hippos or crocodiles. It is one a true classic of online video.
posted by hippybear at 9:13 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Not sure I've seen a bigger asshat.
posted by flabdablet at 12:02 AM on September 10


hippybear: a true classic of online video

Check it out, Homo neanderthalensis!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:42 AM on September 10


Upon first reading the title, my brain, “what’s a shoe company doing with an arcade game that could make them angry hippos!?!” I need sleep.
posted by Crystalinne at 3:06 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


I know, I know that hippos are deadly. And yet still I dream of somehow getting a non-deadly, permanently bathtub-sized one as a most beloved pet.
posted by TwoStride at 11:20 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


TwoStride, my biggest complaint about the original Jurassic Park movie was that they chose to leave out the miniature elephant that had made an appearance in the book.

Granted, while they had successfully shrunk an elephant by modifying its DNA, it was always angry.
posted by Wetterschneider at 4:27 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


Granted, while they had successfully shrunk an elephant by modifying its DNA, it was always angry.

Well, that explains Tree Trunks.
posted by sjswitzer at 12:04 PM on September 11


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