Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy, Happy Hippos

Adventure Aquarium in Camden N.J. was certainly an adventure for me! I never expected to find a Hippopotamus in an Aquarium. What kind of cracked out idea is that? And it was even more interesting to find fish featured in the tank with the Hippos!

Here's Buttons and Ginny, relaxing happily in their jumbo sized spa. If you look really closely, you will see their backs are being "groomed" by small fish.

The fish in the tank with the hippos clean them and "recycle" any vegetable matter left in the water by the hippos. What an amazing display! But hippos? Why hippos at an aquarium?

Here's the scoop on hippos- although they resemble pigs or elephants, their closest living relatives are
cetaceans! They are more closely related to whales and dolphins than any other group of animals. Wow, that was news to me! Hippos are full of surprises: they are basically herbivores which feed on grass near the African rivers in which they live. They eat very little aquatic material.

They are also considered one of the most aggressive animals in Africa. Lions and crocodiles give them clear berth, as these are the most foul-humored of folk. Nothing like a couple of tons of bad attitude to ruin your day.
Gee, and they look so happy in the photo above!

The hippos exhibit also makes good use of some free flying Piping Hornbills. These birds have the run of the exhibit, but they like to congregate in the tree just above the hippo viewing windows.

It was fun to see these birds, and I was happy to take a quick look at the hippos and move on...
As the hornbills are providing the crowd control:

Ah, aquarium humor!

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