Are Hippos Reptiles?
Contrary to what some may assume by the look of their skin, hippos are not reptiles. Hippos are actually part of the order Artiodactyla and the family Hippopotamidae.
Characteristics of Hippos
The features that set hippos apart from reptiles include:
- Skin: Hippos have skin that looks and feels like hunks of rubbery leather, while reptiles have dry scales.
- Breathing: Hippos are mammals and have lungs for breathing, compared to reptiles who breathe through their skin.
- Water/land: Hippos spend much of their time in water, however, they also spend some time on land. Reptiles, on the other hand, spend most of their time on land, and with the exception of some species, very little time in bodies of water.
The behavior of hippos and reptiles is also quite different. Hippos are social animals, living in groups made up of up to thirty individuals. Reptiles, however, tend to be solitary animals.
In conclusion, despite having some characteristics common to reptiles, hippos are not reptiles. They are mammals with unique characteristics, behaviors and habitats which make them different from reptiles.