This animal is a graceful swimmer even though it may look big and sluggish on
land. It's ears and nostrils can be closed off when it submerges into water.
It leads a semi-acquatic existence and is often seen on land.
Even though it has no sweat glands it has a very low capacity for retaining
body water as it has a thin epidemis over a thick dermis, hence has to resort
to a deep underwater existence to avoid being dehydrated on a hot day.
The bull can exceed 1500kg in mass. It has special skin glands which secrets
a red viscous fluid which has led to the myth that the hippo 'sweats blood'.
Animals of the Kruger National Park. Struik Publishers,
Cape Town. 10 pp.