Hippopotamus

This passage is about how hippos live.

Lexile Level: 600L

Categories: Animals & Nature


A hippopotamus is a plant-eating animal. This mammal used to live in Europe but now lives only in Africa. When hippos are born, they weigh about 80 pounds. As adults, they can weigh up to 7,000 pounds. They can be up to 11 feet long. Their skin alone weighs a ton. It is so thick that it is bullet-proof. Also their skin secretes a natural orange-red sunscreen. It protects them against the heat of the sun. Hippopotamuses spend most of their time underwater. They have to come up to the surface to breathe every three to five minutes. If they need to, hippos can hold their breath for up to 30 minutes. They come onto the land at night to eat grass. Even though they are heavy, hippos can run faster than humans. They have been known to be mean to humans. Hippos also dislike crocodiles. Sometimes hippos protect other animals from crocodiles.


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