Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 06-15-2015, 04:44 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8,596
Why do hippos fling feces when defecating?

https://youtube.com/watch?v=aTHZP5kxdWk

Video of hippo defecation with fake farting sound effects, you can find other vids of hippo defecation too.

They do something I've never seen another quadruped do which is they wag their tail violently while defecating which flings feces everywhere. Compare to a horse, elephant, etc which just let them drop.

What is the point behind this behavior?
#2
Old 06-15-2015, 05:37 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Gumi, S. Korea
Posts: 9,154
Antipathy?
#3
Old 06-15-2015, 06:56 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Buford, Georgia
Posts: 8,011
Factual answer: to mark the riverbank as his territory

Farcical answer: to impress art critics
#4
Old 06-15-2015, 08:15 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,806
The Master Speaks (from 1982):

https://academicpursuits.us/columns/...with-cat-spray


Quote:
The hippopotamus, for instance, is said to mark jungle trails by excreting a lethal mixture of urine and feces while twirling its tail like a propeller. This may explain the historically sluggish market for pet hippopotamuses.
#5
Old 06-15-2015, 08:34 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,770
It impresses the other hippos, the stinkiest one is the boss. (It's true I saw it on a wildlife doc.)
#6
Old 06-15-2015, 08:59 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,858
When else would it fling feces?
#7
Old 06-15-2015, 09:05 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8,596
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fubaya View Post
When else would it fling feces?
You got me there!

Thanks Cal I guess I should have known Cecil had addressed this. Zookeepers must love hippos for this trait.
#8
Old 06-15-2015, 09:23 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 14,257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fubaya View Post
When else would it fling feces?
On Sundays they sling shit. On Tuesdays they toss turds. On Wednesdays they waft waste. On Fridays they fling feces. On Saturdays they spray stool.

On Mondays they merely mound manure while on Thursdays they tend to be constipated and just think things through.
#9
Old 06-15-2015, 09:31 AM
Suspended
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 18,476
Since hippos defecate in the same waters that they live in, they must have good immune systems. It would be like humans living in a sewer.
#10
Old 06-15-2015, 09:36 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: 50% chord point
Posts: 3,640
Because they like the alliteration.
#11
Old 06-15-2015, 11:00 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 67,283
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph124c View Post
Since hippos defecate in the same waters that they live in, they must have good immune systems. It would be like humans living in a sewer.
Everything else living in a river defecates in it, too. Human body wastes cause disease because we form such dense populations. If a hunter-gatherer human population was shitting in a river it wouldn't be a big deal to the people downstream because it would be a tiny, tiny fraction of the volume of water. By contrast, there are 500 million people living in the Ganges river basin.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:44 AM.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: [email protected].

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: electric percolator walmart egyptian mau allergies wat up g bubby trap 1960s coffee percolator angol irish new use patents square pistons boston staplers lion vs bear supposably vs supposedly asian robes holiday vs vacation good eats waffles autria godfrey wikipedia holy zombie jesus resale tools sam oramas remagnetize a magnet cancel cashier's check neosporin in nose sex daisy chain man's head explodes alum in cartoons eyeglass tint film ebay encyclopedias chemical stress test opium smell nuke glass ben gardner's boat walk sadly kilometer klick tylenol and advil together death to smoochy trailer skin on nose keeps peeling can i mail a flash drive in an envelope how long is chili good in the fridge what are watchers on ebay mrs. wiggins and mr. tudball difference between 5w 30 and 5w 20 oil what does mg stand for in cars bleaching grey hair white capacitor at high frequencies tracy nelson square pegs bad smell in nose after cold can my dog eat ham hydrogen peroxide vs bleach 2006 nissan altima wiper blade size anything that can happen will happen given enough time what do they do with amputated limbs how long does a capacitor hold its charge how to shrink wrap mice in stove insulation european observers american civil war can you live without a thyroid c in college class how old is frodo baggins removing caulking from brick what should my shoe size be for my height integral of cot^2x actress in sleep number commercial can i leave pizza out overnight kid bouncy ball with handle electric shock collar for humans