The animal kingdom can be a confusing place sometimes. Take, for instance, a viral video from National Geographic showing the unlikely friendship of a baby hippo and a crocodile. Believe it or not, hippos are actually very aggressive. And other animals sharing a habitat with these creatures know that to be true. So it makes sense that a vicious predator like the crocodile wouldn't want to mess around with hippo – even if it is a baby.
The best part, though, is that baby hippos use crocodiles as chew toys. No really! These babies – accompanied closely by their moms – walk right up to sunbathing crocs and chew on their hard spines. This doesn't cause any serious harm to crocodiles, though it's probably super annoying. Chew away, you precious baby hippos.
Baby Hippos Chew On Alligator Spines For Fun
Baby hippos are playful, and, when they're traveling down the river and they meet a new crocodile friend, they want to play. It is dangerous for baby hippos to approach crocodiles because of their small size. A crocodile can overpower a baby hippo, but usually they just leave them alone (especially if mom is near).
The babies grab onto the hard, scaled spines of the crocodiles and playfully nibble. This doesn't hurt actually hurt the crocodile (well, not that we know of anyway). This makes the crocodile's tail essentially a chew toy for the baby hippo. So cute!
Hippos Are Very Strong – And Crocodiles Know That
While hippos look like cute, goofy animals, the truth is they're very ruthless. They are aggressive and have attacked people multiple times. This surprises some because they are vegetarians. But experts say they kill out of fear and as a defense mechanism.
Crocodiles are aware of this, as are many animals in the jungle. Hippos' sheer size – nearly 10,000 pounds – is intimidating, so other predators don't typically mess with them. And when mommy hippos are in the water and their babies wander up to check out – or chew on them – the local crocodile population tends to just let them live.
It Doesn't Mean Crocs And Baby Hippos Don't Get In Scuffles
Just because hippos and crocodiles live harmoniously most of the time, it doesn't mean that they don't get into scrapes every now and again. In fact, fights between crocodiles and hippos can be extremely aggressive and bloody. These two massive creatures pack punches in their own unique ways. Crocodiles are one of the most deadly animals in the world – as are hippos – and the two can get agitated with one another from time to time.