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What causes hippos to yawn?

What causes hippos to yawn?

A yawning hippo may appear tired or even charming. When a hippo yawns, though, it is a warning indicator. Hippos yawn to show off their powerful jaws and long, sharp teeth. When threatened, the hippo opens its jaws wide and adopts an aggressive stance, attacking anything that enters its territory or gets too close to its young, including crocodiles.

The sound or cry of a hippo, which sounds like a deep and demonic chuckle or laugh, is also a warning. Discussions amongst hippos may travel long distances in a chain, from one pod to the next. Among other things, their honks, moans, and roars express authority and claim territory.

This epic symphony of noises may be quite loud when large groups of hippos all honk in unison. It can be heard from a mile away and can reach decibel levels of up to 115 (about the same as a full-fledged rock concert).

While certain hippo noises are audible to humans, some are entirely inaudible. Some of their communication takes place at extremely low frequencies known as infrared. These noises are so deep that they are audible to humans.

Despite its humorous look, the hippo is one of Africa’s most lethal creatures, with long sharp teeth that may grow to be 50 cm long.

A hippo’s jaw may be extended up to 180 degrees. Females select their mate using the hippo’s tongue. The bigger a male hippo’s mouth, the better the male’s capacity to protect the territory and the young, and therefore more desirable to females.


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