‘Flying’ hippos? Researchers make shocking discovery about the burly beasts


Pigs might not fly, but it turns out that hippos can get seriously airborne.
Surprise new research from the Royal Veterinary College in England has uncovered that the African animals launch all four of their feet in the air 15% of the time whilst running at full speed.
Reviewed video footage found that the hefty hippos — who weigh up to 4,000lbs — appear as if they’re taking flight while tracking down rival species, reaching speeds of 19 miles per hour.
“I’ve struggled to get any work done on hippos before because they’re so hard to access,” said lead researcher John Hutchinson told The Guardian.
“They’re incredibly dangerous, they tend to be most active at night, and they spend a lot of their time in the water.”
3 Hippos technically do fly, according to new research.
3 Hippos can get airborne, according to new research. Getty Images
The solution was to study the animals at a sanctuary in North Yorkshire, where they have room to stretch their legs and run at full throttle.
Hutchison described his study “as simple as biomechanics research can get.”
The academic and his team of researchers also meticulously peered through YouTube videos frame by frame to verify that all four feet left the ground.
3 Hippos ability to lift all four feet above ground while running makes them unique to most mammals their size. Anadolu via Getty Images
“It’s important for our understanding of what it means to be a big animal and move on land,” he said, adding that it shows how movement in large wildlife has evolved since the dinosaurs’ age.
Now, he’s curious if different types and ages of the species have different capabilities.
“I’m wondering if baby hippos can do something that adult hippos can’t,” said Hutchinson. “That would be pretty neat.”



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