Huge amphibious African mammal (Hippopotamus amphibius). Once found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, it is now restricted to parts of eastern and southeastern Africa. It has a barrel-shaped body, an enormous mouth, short legs, and four toes on each foot. It commonly reaches a length of 11.5 ft (3.5 m), a height of 5 ft (1.5 m) at the shoulder, and a weight of 7,000 lb (3,200 kg). The skin is very thick, nearly hairless, and grayish brown above, lighter and pinkish below. The ears and nostrils protrude above water when the rest of the body is submerged. Hippopotamuses live near rivers, lakes, swamps, or other permanent bodies of water, usually in groups of 7 to 15. During the day they sleep and rest in or near the water. At night they go on land to feed on grasses, which they crop with their hard-edged lips. In water they can swim fast, walk along the bottom, and remain submerged (with ears and nostrils closed) for five minutes or more. The rare pygmy hippopotamus (Hexaprotodon liberiensis) is the only other species of the family Hippopotamidae. Living along streams and in wet forests and swamps of West Africa, it is about the size of a domestic pig.
Learn more about hippopotamus with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Seaport (pop., 2004 est.: 410,700), northeastern Algeria. Identified with the port of ancient Hippo (or Hippo Regius), it was a rich city of Roman Africa. It was home to St. Augustine 396–430. Severely damaged by the Vandals in 431, it passed to the Byzantine Empire in 533 before being overrun by the Arabs in the 7th century and named Bona. It was occupied by the French in 1832 when they conquered Algeria. Modern Annaba is Algeria's chief exporter of minerals; it also serves as a trading port and port of call.
Learn more about Annaba with a free trial on Britannica.com.
St. Augustine, fresco by Sandro Botticelli, 1480; in the church of Ognissanti, Florence.
Learn more about Augustine (of Hippo), Saint with a free trial on Britannica.com.