(Investigtor 36, 1994 May)
Hippopotamuses existed in ancient Syria. They also lived in the Nile River of Egypt until the 12th century.
The Roman writer Pliny the
Elder seems to
imply that hippos do most of their eating in the water:
When films, whether movies or documentaries show hippos they nearly always show them in water or by the edge of a body of water. Many books likewise suggest, in words or pictures, that hippos hardly leave the water.
The Bible calls the hippo "Behemoth" and implies that it can travel and eat some distance from water:
The hippo's food is vegetation:
The Bible's description of the hippo’s eating behaviour is accurate. Hippos do indeed often feed well away from water, up to 15 kilometres and are able to go up steep slopes.
Cansdale (1970) wrote:
Cansdale, G S 1970 Animals
of Bible Lands, Paternoster, Britain p.101
Healy, J F 1991 Pliny The Elder Natural History A Selection, Penguin p. 119
Jones, E (Consultant Editor) 1984 The Atlas of World Geography, Peerage Books, Britain.