MadSci Network: Zoology

Subject: Do hippos practise cannabilism?

Date: Wed Nov 12 08:07:42 2003
Posted by Megan
Grade level: grad (science) School: Aquavision
City: Johannesburg State/Province: Gauteng Country: South Africa
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 1068646062.Zo

We witnessed an incident of a subadult hippo chasing droves of crocodiles off a 
dead adult hippo. The sex of the dead hippo is unknown. The subadult appeared 
to be nibbling / licking the carcass amid all the croc feeding action. Is this 
a case of cannibalism (I am aware that hippos do sometimes chase predators from 
their kills to nibble flesh)? Or is there another explanation? It has been 
proposed that this was an emotional response but I am reluctant to take this 
view. The subadult would surely not still be dependent on its mother had the 
adult been a cow and had it been a male, there should not have been any lasting 

Re: Do hippos practise cannabilism?

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