A crocodile exerts 3,700 pounds per square inch of biting force, the strongest of any wild animal. Considering that it has 66 four-inch teeth, the crocodile is a scary animal. It can grow up to 20 feet long, weigh 2,000 pounds, and run and swim relatively fast.
Even with these impressive features, this carnivorous and stealthy hunter often has to play docile next to a deadlier animal that shares its habitat: the hippopotamus.
A hippo is an herbivore, has fewer teeth, and lower biting force than the crocodile, but it will undoubtedly win a fight against the crocodile. Crocodiles are well aware of hippos’ might and are keen to stay on their good books while ignoring any provocation.
The Croc Versus the Hippo
Crocodiles may have the strongest bite, but hippos are bigger, taller, and have longer teeth. Whereas a croc crawls next to the ground, the hippo stands five feet above the ground and weighs up to three times more.
The hippo has long, sharp teeth up to 1.5 feet long and deadly biting power of 1,800 pounds per square inch, sufficient to kill a crocodile. Additionally, hippos have superior brain power, better eyesight, and a better sense of smell and hearing than the croc.
These advantages force crocodiles to ignore any provocation from hippos since the former is unlikely to win a fight unless they team up against a single hippo. This scenario is highly unlikely to happen because hippos are social animals that live in groups.
Hippos Nudge and Lick Feeding Crocodiles
The video begins with crocodiles in an eating frenzy. Crocs are carnivorous, meaning they only eat meat. Their primary meal is fish, but crocodiles will also take down birds, wildebeests, zebras, and other reptiles.
Crocs could make a meal from a baby hippo but would not dare if the mother was nearby.
Some crocs have demonstrated cannibalism by eating other crocs. Crocodiles do not chew their food. Their teeth are not designed for chewing. They swallow smaller foods whole. Crocs rip off and swallow manageable chunks of meat from bigger prey.
The crocodiles in the video are tearing down an antelope. They twist and turn as they try to tear away the piece of meat clamped tightly between their jaws.
One would expect the sight of crocodiles tearing chunks of flesh from a carcass to scare away any herbivore for fear of being the next meal, but the hippos are not scared a bit. In any case, the hippos enjoy bullying crocs.
The video shows the hippos moving close to the feeding frenzy while nudging and licking the crocs as if to remind them who the boss is. The crocs don’t seem to enjoy the hippos’ disrespect but choose to ignore them altogether.
A baby croc joins in on the insolence and bites, licks, and gnaws a croc’s tail as though playing with a chew toy. As expected, the croc does nothing. One of the crocodiles walks to the water and swims away when it can no longer take the disrespect.
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