My name is Kiboko, and I am a hippopotamus, or a hippo for short.

Hippopotamus Facts

Hippos are the third heaviest land animal alive today—only elephants and rhinoceroses are heavier. We have been specially designed by God to spend most of our time in the water. Our eyes, nose, and ears are on top of our heads, which allows us to remain almost completely underwater but still smell, hear, and see. We are so big we can often walk along the bottom of the river.

Here are some neat facts about the hippo kind:

  • Our skin is five inches thick, and we produce a pinkish fluid that covers our skin to protect our nearly hairless bodies from the hot African sun.
  • Our lower teeth can grow to 20 inches (51 cm) long—that’s 13 inches (33 cm) longer than a T. rex tooth!
  • We usually spend 18 hours a day in the cool river water, coming out at night to eat.
  • Crocodiles live in the same water as hippos, but if they try to eat baby hippos, our moms will protect the baby. A hippo’s bite is so hard it can cut a crocodile in two!
  • Little birds often sit on our backs and eat annoying insects like flies and ticks off our backs. They will even eat algae off our skin!

Class: Mammalia (mammal)
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Hippopotamidae
Genus/Species: Hippopotamus amphibius
Height: 5 feet (1.5 m)
Weight: 3,000 pounds (1,500 kg)
Length: 14–15 feet (4–5 m)
Diet: Grasses, roots, large reeds, and aquatic plants
Habitat: Bodies of water in western, central, eastern, and southern Africa

Character Trait

Hippos like me have huge tongues. Our big tongues should remind boys and girls of how powerful the tongue is. We can either use it to tear other people down, or to build others up. God doesn’t want us to use our tongues to hurt others. We need to have tame tongues that treat other people with respect and that encourage them. We need to be wise—have a tongue that speaks in a God-honoring way!


“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).

Apologetics Focus

We use our tongues to speak, but where did all the languages come from? Well, Genesis 11:1–9 tells us that after the Flood everyone spoke one language, and they were all gathered together in one place. But there was a major problem with them all being together—God had told them to spread out! To force them to obey Him and spread out and fill the earth, God confused their language so that each family spoke a different language. They then spread out all over the earth, taking those new languages with them. The Bible tells us why people all over speak different languages.

Learn More

You can learn more about hippos by reading these articles. We even have a coloring picture you can print off and color.