10 Difference between Hippopotamus and Rhinoceros (With Table)

There are many land mammals. Most of us when thinking about large land mammals, we often think about elephants.

Hippopotamus and rhinoceros are among the large mammals on land and are often grey in color. Both animals cannot swim. Rhinoceros have never been seen in the water.

The hippopotamus is often seen in the water and this is because it protects their skin from the sun. They walk or stand on the sandbanks just below the water surface.

The two animals share a lot. Both are large in size, they are herbivores, they both graze o short grass because of the shape and structure of their lips.

So, what is the main difference between hippopotamus and rhinoceros? Hippopotamus has a large mouth and teeth while white rhinos have flat broad mouths, black rhinos have pointed lips.

This article is going to give you more differences between hippopotamus and rhinoceros in tabular form and you will also get to learn of their similarities.

You May Also Like: Difference between Mastodon and Mammoth

Difference between Hippopotamus and Rhinoceros

Comparison Table (Hippopotamus vs. Rhinoceros)

Basic TermsHippopotamusRhinoceros
MouthThey have largemouth.White rhinoceros have flat broad mouths and black rhinoceros have pointed lips.
Horns and humpsHave no horns and humps.Black, white and Sumatran rhinos have two horns on the snout, Indian and Javan rhinos only have one horn, white rhinos have a prominent hump.
OriginIt is native to Africa.It is native to Africa and Asia.
ClassificationIt belongs to the class Hippopotamidae.It belongs to class Rhinocerotidae.
HabitatIt is a semi-aquatic animal.It is a terrestrial animal.
SkinIt has thick, hairless skin without any sweat or sebaceous glands.It has thick hairy skin.
Hunted forIt is hunted for meat and ivory.It is hunted for horns.
SizeIt is smaller than a white rhino.The white rhino is larger than a hippopotamus.
ToesIt has four toes on each foot.It has three toes on each foot.
LifespanIt may live up to 50 years in the wild.It may live up to 60 years or more in the wild

What is Hippopotamus?

The hippopotamus is a semi-aquatic African mammal. It is native to Africa. It is the second-largest land animal by weight after the elephant.

They belong to the family Hippopotamidae and prefer to live in shallow lakes, rivers, and swamps. Its ears, eyes, and nostrils are present on top of the head so it can stay nearly submerged in water.

It is mainly found in rivers and lakes although it cannot swim. It normally stands in the sandbanks of the river and this is to protect its skin from the sun. It secrets a red-colored substance that acts like sunscreen to protect its skin.

It has a stout body, thick skin, largemouth, bulging head, and stubby legs. They have tusk-like teeth, a wide nose, and can open their jaws up to 155 degrees.

They are mostly herbivores hence they feed on aquatic plants, short grass, green shoots. Despite their heavy bodies, they are excellent underwater swimmers and can run as fast as humans on land.

What is Rhinoceros?

Rhinoceros are aquatic animals and native to Africa and Asia. They are the second-largest animals by height after the elephants.

They belong to class Rhinocerotidae. There are five species of rhinos in the world. They include; white, black, Sumatran, Jivan, and Indian rhinos.

They are large in size, the white rhino being the largest, they have short legs, thick skin, one or two horns on the snout and the white rhino possess a hump.

They are mainly herbivores hence they feed on short grass, leaves, shoots, and fruits. They can live up to 60 years in the wild.

You May Also Enjoy: Difference between White and Black Rhino

Main Differences between Hippopotamus and Rhinoceros

  1. Hippopotamus has large and broad mouths while white rhinos have flat broad mouths and black rhinos have pointed tips.
  2. The hippopotamus does not have horns while rhinos have one or two horns.
  3. The hippopotamus has four toes on each foot while rhinos have three toes on each foot.
  4. Hippopotamus does not have humps while white rhinos have humps.
  5. The hippopotamus is a semi-aquatic animal while rhinos are terrestrial animals.
  6. The hippopotamus is hunted for meat and ivory while rhinos are hunted for their horns.
  7. Hippopotamus has thick, hairless skin without sweat or sebaceous glands while rhinos have thick hairy skins.

Similarities between Hippopotamus and Rhinoceros

  1. They both belong to mammals.
  2. They are both herbivores.
  3. Both are large in size.
  4. Both appear grey in color.
  5. Both have a similar shapes and structures of the mouth.

Conclusion

Hippopotamus and rhinoceros are among the largest animals on the land. The hippopotamus is a semi-aquatic animal while the rhinoceros is a terrestrial animal.

The animals have a lot in common in that they are both herbivores and mostly feed on short grass because of the shape and structure of their mouths,

The main difference between the two is that; Hippopotamus is the second largest animal on the land by weight after the elephant and the rhinoceros is the second largest animal on the land by height after the elephant.

More Sources and References: