What do hippos eat?

Hippos are primarily herbivores and their diet consists mainly of grasses. Here are the key points about what hippos eat based on the provided search results:

Hippo Diet

  • Hippos are herbivores and their diet is dominated by short grasses found in the savannah regions of Africa123. Grass makes up the largest portion of their diet.
  • They feed mostly at night, consuming around 40 kg (80 lbs) of grass per adult hippo during their nightly grazing sessions35.
  • To supplement their grass diet, hippos also eat some fruits, young shoots, and reeds when available35.
  • During the day, hippos may briefly come out of the water to graze on grasses near rivers/lakes, known as "hippo lawns"5.

Meat Consumption

  • While fundamentally herbivores, there have been rare instances observed of hippos eating meat from animal carcasses or even cannibalism234.
  • However, these occurrences are very infrequent and considered anomalies, likely driven by scarcity of certain nutrients3.
  • The scientific consensus still maintains that hippos are herbivores based on their digestive system and predominant feeding habits35.

Feeding Adaptations

  • Hippos have a multi-chambered stomach and a long digestive tract that allows efficient absorption of nutrients from the grasses they consume5.
  • Unlike other herbivores, hippos do not chew cud and their digestive system is adapted to extract maximum nutrition from their nightly grass intake5.
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