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Hippo vs. Rhino: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 17, 2024
Hippos are large, mostly herbivorous, aquatic mammals known for their massive size and semi-aquatic lifestyle, whereas rhinos are large, mostly terrestrial mammals known for their distinctive horned snouts.
Hippo vs. Rhino

Key Differences

Hippos, with their barrel-shaped bodies, massive mouths, and nearly hairless skin, are well-adapted to aquatic environments. Rhinos are recognized for their armored skin and prominent horns on their snouts. Both are among the largest land mammals.
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Jan 17, 2024
Hippos primarily inhabit rivers, lakes, and mangrove swamps, spending much of their time submerged to keep their skin moist and cool. Rhinos prefer a wider range of land habitats, from savannahs to forests, depending on the species.
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Jan 17, 2024
While hippos are predominantly herbivorous, consuming grasses and occasionally aquatic plants, rhinos are also herbivores. However, their diet varies by species, ranging from leafy plants and branches to grass, showing a broader dietary preference.
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Jan 17, 2024
Both hippos and rhinos face significant threats from habitat loss and poaching. While specific conservation statuses vary among species, both animals are generally considered vulnerable or endangered.
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In various cultures, hippos and rhinos hold different symbolic meanings. Hippos are often associated with water and fertility, whereas rhinos symbolize strength and resilience.
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Comparison Chart

Size and Build

Large, heavyset, adapted for water
Large, robust, adapted for land
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Jan 17, 2024

Skin

Nearly hairless, thick
Thick, armored
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Habitat

Aquatic environments like rivers, lakes
Terrestrial environments like savannahs
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Diet

Herbivorous, mainly grasses
Herbivorous, varies by species
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Threats

Habitat loss, poaching
Poaching, habitat fragmentation
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Hippo and Rhino Definitions

Hippo

A hippo is a large, aquatic African mammal known for its massive size.
The hippo emerged from the river at sunset.
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Jan 11, 2024

Rhino

Rhinos are found in various habitats, including savannahs and forests.
In the dense forest, a rhino was spotted near a water hole.
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Jan 11, 2024

Hippo

Hippos spend most of their time in water to maintain their skin moisture.
The baby hippo stayed close to its mother in the water.
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Rhino

These land mammals are known for their solitary, sometimes aggressive nature.
The rhino charged at the perceived threat to defend its territory.
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Hippo

Hippos are characterized by their barrel-shaped torsos and enormous mouths.
A group of hippos basked in the shallow waters.
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Rhino

Rhinos have thick, armored skin and a massive body.
A solitary rhino stood silhouetted against the setting sun.
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Hippo

These semi-aquatic creatures are mostly herbivorous, feeding on grasses.
At night, the hippo ventured onto land to graze.
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Rhino

A rhino is a large, herbivorous mammal notable for its horned snout.
The rhino grazed quietly in the grassland.
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Hippo

A hippopotamus.
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Jan 10, 2024

Rhino

Rhino horns are often the target of poaching, threatening their survival.
Conservationists are working hard to protect rhinos from poachers.
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Jan 11, 2024

Hippo

Clipping of hippopotamus
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Rhino

A rhinoceros.
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Hippo

Same as hippopotamus.
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Rhino

.
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Hippo

An ancient Numidian town in northwestern Africa adjoining present-day Annaba in northeastern Algeria
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Rhino

(colloquial) A rhinoceros.
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Jan 10, 2024

Hippo

Massive thick-skinned herbivorous animal living in or around rivers of tropical Africa
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Rhino

Gold and silver, or money.
As long as the rhino lasted.
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Hippo

Known for their territorial behavior, hippos are often seen in groups.
The dominant hippo aggressively guarded its territory.
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Jan 11, 2024

Rhino

Massive powerful herbivorous odd-toed ungulate of southeast Asia and Africa having very thick skin and one or two horns on the snout
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can rhinos swim?

Most rhinos are poor swimmers, unlike hippos.
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Jan 17, 2024

Do hippos have natural predators?

Adult hippos have few natural predators due to their size, but young hippos may fall prey to lions or crocodiles.
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Are rhinos solitary animals?

Yes, most rhino species are solitary, except for mothers with offspring.
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Jan 17, 2024

How many species of rhinos exist?

There are five species of rhinos: Black, White, Indian, Javan, and Sumatran.
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Jan 17, 2024

What is a group of hippos called?

A group of hippos is known as a bloat or pod.
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What do rhinos use their horns for?

Rhino horns are used for defense and to display dominance.
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Jan 17, 2024

Can hippos breathe underwater?

Hippos cannot breathe underwater but can hold their breath for up to 5 minutes.
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Jan 17, 2024

Do hippos sweat blood?

Hippos secrete a reddish fluid that is not blood but acts as sunscreen and a mild antiseptic.
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What is the average lifespan of a hippo?

Hippos typically live for about 40 to 50 years.
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Are hippos aggressive animals?

Yes, hippos can be very aggressive, particularly when defending their territory.
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Jan 17, 2024

How fast can a hippo run?

Hippos can run up to speeds of 30 km/h (19 mph) on land.
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How do hippos communicate?

Hippos communicate through grunts, bellows, and wheezes, as well as visually with their massive jaws.
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What is the gestation period for a hippo?

The gestation period for a hippo is about 8 months.
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How do rhinos mark their territory?

Rhinos mark their territory with piles of dung and by spraying urine.
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What is the primary diet of a rhino?

Rhinos are herbivores, eating grass, leaves, and branches.
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Jan 17, 2024

Are hippos good swimmers?

Despite their size, hippos are not particularly good swimmers and often prefer shallow waters where they can touch the bottom.
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Jan 17, 2024

What is the conservation status of rhinos?

Most rhino species are classified as vulnerable or endangered due to poaching and habitat loss.
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Jan 17, 2024

Why are rhino horns so valuable?

Rhino horns are valued in some cultures for traditional medicine and as status symbols, despite having no proven medicinal value.
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Jan 17, 2024

What's the biggest threat to rhinos in the wild?

Poaching for their horns is the biggest threat to rhinos.
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Jan 17, 2024

Are rhinos active during the day or night?

Rhinos are primarily nocturnal or crepuscular, being most active during the night or at dawn and dusk.
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Jan 17, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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