Two of the strongest animals that survive on this earth are the hippo and the crocodile. Coincidentally, these fantastic creatures happen to be indigenous to the same continent: Africa. Knowing that both hippos and crocodiles are large animals of considerable strength sharing the same space brings up the question of whether or not these creatures get along and what would happen if they were to have a bad encounter.
Hippos are very territorial and will attack crocodiles if they feel they are getting too close. The hippo wins in a fight between a crocodile and an adult hippo. Hippos are one of the most dangerous animals in the world, with a bite force up to 5,000 psi, enough to bite a crocodile in half. However, a baby hippo may fall prey to a solitary crocodile.
When looking at the possible outcomes of a potentially deadly encounter between hippos and crocodiles, we need to look at a few things, including bite force and whether these animals could kill the other.
Due to these extremely dangerous animals living in the same habitat, many people wonder what would happen if they met. Would a crocodile go after a hippo as its meal? Would a hippo engage in a fight with a crocodile? If a fight were to start, who would win? Before answering any of these questions, one has to look at what makes these creatures dangerous, including their bite force.
Hippos, despite being herbivores, are one of the world’s most dangerous animals. They are huge, weighing anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 pounds, and have even been known to capsize some smaller-sized boats when in their territory.
Hippos can open their mouths a whopping 180 degrees, and when they chomp down after opening their mouths to the fullest, the force that whatever they are biting down will feel is 1,800psi, according to sciencefocus.com.
While hippos can be considered a silent danger, not showing how deadly they can be until threatened, crocodiles are well known to be dangerous animals. With having to hunt for their food and occasionally eat small mammals, crocodiles have many assets and skills that allow for easy kills.
Their front feet, while webbed, have long, sharp claws that make it easy for them to grasp their prey. They also have up to 64 sharp teeth that are constantly being replaced. These teeth, along with the bite force of up to 5,000psi (according to africawildtrails.com), mean that the African crocodile is a force to be reckoned.
Can a hippo kill a crocodile?
Even though hippos are herbivores, meaning they are plant-eating animals, they can and will attack other animals if they feel as though they or their young are threatened. This includes crocodiles.
Though it seems impossible when looking at the bite force difference, what most fail to consider is the sheer size of a hippo. Hippos are humongous animals, and when needed, they will use every ounce of weight they have to protect themselves, their young, and their territory.
When presented with a conflict with another animal, it will surround that animal with its mouth and bite down using all of its force. Adult hippos have even been known to bite some smaller-sized crocodiles in half.
Another thing that is important to know when wondering if a hippo can kill a crocodile is the mobility of both animals in both water and on land. Hippos are semi-aquatic, meaning they thrive in both water and land, capable of moving swiftly in both environments.
Can a crocodile kill a hippo?
While grown adult hippos can injure and kill crocodiles, crocodiles cannot kill adult hippos. Crocodiles are equipped with sharp claws and teeth to hunt and kill prey to survive, but they usually leave adult hippos alone.
Crocodiles are solitary hunters, meaning that they tend to hunt for their meals alone despite frequently being spotted in groups. If a crocodile were to see a hippo and wanted to pursue it, the crocodile would need assistance from others. This goes against their nature.
Crocodiles in Africa will usually hunt for food within the water or on the water’s edge. A crocodile’s meal will often be a fish or young animal that has strayed too far from its herd. Occasionally a crocodile will spot a young hippo on its own and may decide that it is an easy meal. If no adult hippos are around, a young hippo may become a crocodile’s dinner. However, this is typically not the case.
Who would win?
When it comes to wondering whether or not a hippo or a crocodile would win in a fight, many might be conflicted. However, the answer is pretty simple: hippos would win nine times out of ten.
You see, hippos, will having a bite force weaker than crocodiles, are significantly bigger and more agile than most crocodiles in Africa. This means that if faced together, the hippo will be able to outmanoeuvre a crocodile. Hippos also have a much larger mouth filled with more teeth than a crocodile, so bite force does not mean much when the two are in an altercation.
Hippos also usually end up living in groups while crocodiles hunt by themselves. When a crocodile sees a group of hippos, it knows that its chance of survival will be low if it engages in an altercation. However, sometimes a crocodile will see a young or injured hippo off on its own. When this happens, a crocodile might take a chance and go after it.
When this happens, the young hippo will often have a group of hippos come to rescue it, scaring off the crocodile. Sometimes this will lead to the crocodile’s death.
How do they coexist?
Knowing that two species survive in the same area and share the same resources may have people wondering how they coexist. When looking at how crocodiles and hippos cohabitate, it isn’t that complicated. Simply put, crocodiles know to leave hippos alone.
After years and years of seeing what happens when a crocodile engages with a hippo, it is instinctual for crocodiles to leave hippos alone. Crocodiles will see the hippo as a much bigger animal and know that, no matter how hungry they are, it isn’t worth the fight as crocodiles can get severely injured or killed when in a battle with a hippo.