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Hippopotamus

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Hippopotamus

Origin: L, from gr.; horse _ river. Cf. Equine.

(Science: zoology) a large, amphibious, herbivorous mammal (hippopotamus amphibius), common in the rivers of Africa. It is allied to the hogs, and has a very thick, naked skin, a thick and square head, a very large muzzle, small eyes and ears, thick and heavy body, and short legs. It is supposed to be the behemoth of the bible. Called also zeekoe, and river horse. A smaller species (H. Liberiencis) inhabits western Africa.