Hippos protect themselves with mighty jaws, huge teeth and massive heads. Their colossal tusk teeth weigh up to six pounds each and are important components of their defensive arsenal. Hippos bare their teeth to intimidate interlopers, a behavior especially common among mature bulls squabbling over territory. They also deliver deadly bites with sufficient force to cut adult crocodiles in half.Know More
Hippos have few significant predators. They spend most of each day submerged in rivers, where their primary predators are crocodiles. Adult hippos frequently kill crocodiles that attempt to bite them, but juveniles often succumb to injuries sustained during crocodile ambush attacks. Hippos live in herds containing one adult male, 10 to 20 adult females and their offspring. This grouping behavior is an effective defense mechanism that deters many would-be predators.
While foraging on land, the primary predators that hippos face are lions and hyenas. Poaching is an equally serious threat. Hippopotamus tusks are in demand because they are made of ivory, the same material that forms elephant tusks. There is also an underground market for hippopotamus meat.
In addition to their need to protect themselves against attacks, hippos need protection from scorching sunlight. They spend most of each day almost completely submerged in rivers, with only their nostrils, ears and eyes above the water. This keeps them cool and comfortable during the hottest part of the day. Hippos also secrete a viscous pink oil that lubricates their thick skin, protects it from environmental damage and kills surface bacteria.Learn more about Zoology
Adaptations that help deer survive include being fast and agile, having strong muscles for kicking, cupped ears that pinpoint sounds, eyes on the sides of their heads and sensitive noses that pick up predator scents at 150 yards away or more. Deer have many predators, so their adaptations are largely related to early detection, running away and defending themselves with strong hind legs when cornered.Full Answer >
Mountain gorillas are similar to other gorillas, but they have longer fur, larger jaws and teeth, a smaller nose, and shorter arms. Gorillas are the largest primates, but their sizes differ greatly between males and females, with males being much larger. They eat multiple parts of plants, from the leaves to the stems and roots of plants, along with small amounts of bark, wood, invertebrates, fruit, flowers and gorilla dung.Full Answer >
Chimpanzee skulls feature small cranial volume, pronounced muzzles jutting out from the front, large canine teeth, flat noses and straight-angled jaws. Chimpanzee skulls are smaller than those of humans. Facial features are different in chimps compared to humans, as are structures that support the brain and the ability to vocalize.Full Answer >
Because polar bears are apex predators, they have no natural enemies, but when a polar bear male fights another male during mating season, it defends itself with its brute strength, curved claws, powerful jaws and long, sharp canine teeth. In rare encounters with other predators, such as grizzlies, a polar bear tends to back off in defense and leave the carcass to its opponent.Full Answer >