Home
Classification
Habitat
Adapatations
Nutrition
Reproduction
Facts
Interactions
Credits

 

Life History and Reproduction

 

Hippos are all dioecious. Males reach sexual maturity between 6 and 14 years of age and breed with several females in their territory.  Females can breed at 7-15 years and usually reproduce every two years. They are capable of breeding year round, but they mostly breed seasonally during dry times in February and August.  Reproduction takes place in the water. The female hippo goes through three days of estrus (heat) where she is most fertile and mates with a male hippopotamus. http://www.honoluluzoo.org/images/hippo_baby_tianjinzoo_small.jpg

Most calves are born in the water, but some can be born on land. They are typically born during the rainy months 8 months (240 days) after conception and weigh 27-50 kilograms.  The calves nurse underwater for the first 6-8 months and are seen riding on their mothers' backs during the day.  Mothers are very protective of their calves, and stay by the motherís side for 5-8 years. Their lifespan is about 45 years.

                                    Image From: www.cabq.gov/biopark/zoo/images/HippoKarenBoo...

back  next